Synopses & Reviews
It's September 1811, and someone is killing the wealthy young sons of London's most prominent families. Partially butchered, with strange objects stuffed into their mouths, their bodies are found dumped in public places at dawn. When the grisly remains of Alfred, Lord Stanton's eldest son are discovered in the Old Palace Yard beside the House of Lords, the local magistrate turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help.
Ranging from the gritty world of Thames-side docks to the luxurious drawing rooms of Mayfair, Sebastian finds himself confronting his most puzzling--and disturbing--case yet. With the help of his trusted allies--young servant Tom, Irish doctor Paul Gibson, and his lover Kat Boleyn--Sebastian struggles to decipher a cryptic set of clues that link the scion of a banking family to the son of a humble Kentish vicar. For as one killing follows another, Sebastian discovers he is confronting a murderer with both a method and a purpose to his ritualized killings, and that the key to it all may lie in the enigmatic stanzas of a haunting poem...and in a secret so dangerous that men are willing to sacrifice their own children to keep the truth from becoming known.
"While appending a serial killer plot line to a historical setting is nothing new, Harris imbues what could be an overdone and tired narrative device with refreshing novelty, making his third Regency-era whodunit (after 2006's When Gods Die) a triumph. Sebastian St. Cyr, an unconventional nobleman with a talent for detection, is called in by Westminster chief magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy after two scions of the upper classes are found butchered and left on public display. St. Cyr soon finds a connection between the killer's calling card and a John Donne poem. As shadowy figures threaten and the parents of the victims display an inappropriate hostility to his efforts, the sleuth doggedly persists, uncovering a secret with shocking repercussions for London's upper class. Neatly meshing the page-turning whodunit plot with major developments in St. Cyr's love life, Harris shows every indication of assuming the mantle of the late Bruce Alexander as a reliable producer of quality period mysteries." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series "Best historical thriller writer in the business! Sebastian St. Cyr is…uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner “Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) “A crescendo of suspense and surprise.”—Library Journal (Starred Review) “Thoroughly enjoyable…kept me enthralled.”—Deanna Raybourn “A ripping read...captivated me to the final page.”—Will Thomas “Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race.”—The New Orleans Times-Picayune “Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England…”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
In 1811, murder has jarred Londons elite. The sons of prominent families have been found dead, their bodies discovered at dawn in public places. Sebastian St. Cyr is struck by the oddness of their murders and is determined to track down the assassin--even at the risk of his own life.
Murder has jarred London’s elite. The sons of prominent families have been found at dawn in public places, partially butchered, with strange objects stuffed in their mouths. Once again, the local magistrate turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help. Moving from the gritty world of London’s docks to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, Sebastian confronts his most puzzling—and disturbing—case yet.
About the Author
C.S. Harris graduated with a degree in Classics before earning a Ph.D. in European history. A scholar of the French Revolution and 19th-century Europe, she has lived in Europe and various far-flung parts of the old British Empire. She now lives in New Orleans with her husband, a retired Army Intelligence Officer, and two daughters.