Charles Maddox has traveled across Europe to the estate of the Baron Von Reisenberg, charged with the job of making judicious inquiries into the affairs of the Baron. It seems that the Baron has offered to donate a rather large sum to the Bodelian Library in the University of Oxford for the upkeep of one of the library’s most famous possessions. The library, of course, wishes to be assured of the Baron’s credentials and the Baron has offered to pay Charles’ expenses so that he might do just that. As to be expected, Charles finds the Baron and his ancestral castle quite strange, with the local folk muttering and crossing themselves. And Charles has nightmares and a tiny mark on his neck. And Charles ends his stay in a lunatic asylum.
For this book Lynn Shepherd has chosen Bram Stoker’s Dracula for her inspiration. Dark and eerie, it catches the mood. We find Charles caught between superstition and science as he tries to make sense of gruesome murders in London. I love the way the narrator in the book is sometimes standing just offstage, in the present. It’s a ripping good tale, and I do recommend it.
eGalley review Publication date 10.21.14