Savage Magic

14 Mar

In “Savage Magic”, by Lloyd Shepherd, Thames River Police Constable Charles Horton finds himself investigating a possible case of witchcraft in Surrey at the behest of Bow Street Magistrate Aaron Graham. At the same time Graham is investigating the dreadful murders of a group of men who call themselvess Sybarites and look to the late Sir Francis Dashwood of the Hellfire Club for inspiration. What is the link between these events and a private madhouse in Hackney? As the body count rises, Charles Horton and Aaron Graham are racing against time to find those responsible.

Set in 1814 in the last years of the Georgian period, Lloyd Shepherd manages to convey the decadence and almost brutal immorality with great flair and wit. You can see, hear, and almost smell the human maelstroms that are Wapping and Covent Garden.

The story is many faceted, with thrilling twists and turns, but never once loses momentum. The supernatural overtones of the story just add to the pace.

Highly recommended.

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