When this one came up for review, I agreed because it sounded like a bit of a gritty Victorian/Regency mystery and I was ready for a bit of a new mystery series.
However, I was hesitant because this book was number 12 in the series. Lately I’ve been jumping into a couple of new series a little late in the game and I felt like at the very least, I should read the first book in this new series so I could get an idea of where things were at, at least with the main character, Lord Devlin.
London, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is no stranger to the dark side of the city, but he’s never seen anything like this: the brutalized body of a 15-year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory.
One of London’s many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin’s fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished. Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world.
As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city’s most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: Someone from society’s upper echelon is preying upon the city’s most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm (summary from Goodreads).
So my first thought when I started with this book was maybe I should have read more books in the series. Yes this book could be a stand alone, but there is clearly a back story that I missed somewhere between the first book and this one. There were some new characters that I wasn’t familiar with or those who’s relationship clearly changed during the course of the books. So in some ways, I feel like I should have read a couple more books in the series prior to this one or just read this one as a stand alone.
One of the things that I was happy to see hadn’t changed was the atmosphere. In the first book, the whole feel of the story/mystery was dark, brooding, and gritty. I felt slightly unsettled by the mystery and grit of the story which kept me on my toes! I love how the author creates this sense of unease in the mystery. As with the previous book I read, the pace of the novel was fast, mostly due to the shortness of the chapters. I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading late into the night thanks to the little cliff hangers at the end of each chapter….plus since each chapter was short and to the point, it was easy for me to get sucked into the whole ‘one more’ mentality!
Sometimes in a long standing mystery/detective series, some mysteries are better than others however this doesn’t seem to be the case so far. I mean, I’ve only read on other besides this one, but the quality of this mystery suggests that the others in the series would be equally as intriguing and interesting. Harris writes with a talented hand and seems to have a knack for creating shocking, engaging, and thrilling mysteries!
I would gladly go back and read every single book in this series. The crime is heinous as is the murdered, and there were some very uncomfortable moments within the story itself, but the mystery was solid and I enjoyed reading this one very much…..even if I did feel like I was missing some things from previous stories.
Kindle Edition, 352 pagesPublished April 4th 2017 by Berkley
- Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Historical fiction, thriller, mystery, detective novel
Memorable lines/quotes: NA