Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Executioner's Heart (Newbury and Hobbes, #4)” as Want to Read:
The Executioner's Heart (Newbury and Hobbes, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Executioner's Heart (Newbury and Hobbes #4)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  727 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In Executioner's Heart--the fourth Newbury & Hobbes steampunk mystery from George Mann--the detectives are up against the most frightening villainess England has yet seen.

It's normal for Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, to be called to the scene of a crime, but this is the third murder in quick succession where the victim's chest has been cracked o
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Tor Books (first published June 28th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Executioner's Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Executioner's Heart

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
This review was first published by the Historical Novel Society. I received a free copy of the book.

This novel is the fourth in a series of fantasy/steampunk adventures featuring detectives Sir Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes. For the purposes of this review it is considered on its individual merits, but it draws heavily on events and world-building from the previous novels in the series, and the final chapter sets up the action for the next installment.

Overall I found this novel to be fast-
Jun 16, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following hot on the heels of the events in 'The Immorality Engine', George Mann brings us the fourth installment in his highly entertaining Newbury & Hobbes series of novels.
Thrusting us right back into a steampunk London of machines, monsters and madmen, we once again find ourselves in the company of Queen's Agents Sir Maurice Newbury, his assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes and Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, Sir Charles Bainbridge as they investigate a series of brutal murders. The victims
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Though the main story ends, this book has the worst possible cliffhanger ever. So I suggest you wait for The Revenant Express before you start reading this book. You're welcome. I am so mad. I hate cliffhangers!

Short summary: Newbury and Hobbes are helping Charles Bainbridge with a serial killer case. The victims are all left without heart. That's the main story. There is a threat of conspiracy among the agents of the Crown and nobody knows who or what the murderer is.
And, as if that weren't e
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Newbury has been sinking further into the mire his friends had hoped to extricate him from. His days are made up of dark arts and drugs. Yet little do they know he is doing it for them. His and Amelia's visions of a darkness to come brought by the sinister Executioner need to be studied so that it can perhaps be avoided. Though with bodies turning up with their hearts ripped out, perhaps the darkness is nearer at hand then they had hoped. With motives being questioned and no one knowing who to t ...more
May 23, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I did not like this book, then I thought maybe to many distractions, so I started again.

This is the kind of book like a hot drink you are offered, you hope it's a nice cup of tea only to find it's coffee and later someone takes it away and gives that nice cup of assam you truly wanted.

The first half is a Sherlock Holmes derivative, but every now and then there is a moment that shines that moment when you stop reading and you start to see the story. And then "sigh" he gets nervous an
Fred Hughes
Aug 14, 2013 Fred Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Newbury & Hobbes are into another mystery in this popular Steampunk series from George Mann. This is the fourth book in the “A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation” series with the other three books being “The Affinity Bridge” , “The Osiris Ritual”, and “The Immorality Engine” ALL ARE RECOMMENDED

In this book we run into Newbury & Hobbes’s being asked to investigate the murder of three apparently unrelated individuals. What is perplexing the police is that the murderer is opening up their v
Ade Couper
Jun 25, 2013 Ade Couper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like the Newbery & Hobbes tales: steampunk is a favourite genre of mine.

This is the 4th in the series of Novels featuring Sir Maurice Newbery & his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes- (somewhat reluctant) agents of a Queen Victoria who's lifespan has been artificially extended by cybernetics. Newbery is a specialist in the occult & the arcane, who is called in to assist chief inspector Bainbridge in solving a series of particularly gruesome murders....

The background of the titular
Jul 11, 2013 Deanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Didn't realise this was coming out til I found it by chance, I'd enjoyed the first three and like the mix of steampunk, crime and the almost gothic aspect of Newbury and Hobbs.
It's best to read them in order, and there's short stories on Mann's website for free to keep you going in between.
Newbury and Hobbs begin to grow as partners, though they still seem to keep secrets from each other. Bainbridge also puts in an appearance,as they delve into the investigation into a series of murders. Each of
Aug 17, 2013 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To my mind, this is a perfect example of this type of novel. It's inventive, the characters are engaging, the writing is punchy, the plot is full of twists and turns, there's a healthy dose of the macabre and the supernatural, and the whole thing grabs you by the collar and doesn't let up from page one. Any issues you might've had with the series will be far-gone by the time you finish this book, I can assure you, readers - just give it the time and let the world be built before you. Then you ca ...more
Jan 04, 2017 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding.... as the pace of the storyline increases, you will find it difficult to stop until the last word is read. Alas, a huge cliff hanger awaits you at that point. Possibly the best installment in the series.
Nov 29, 2016 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucian Poll
I've been a fan of George Mann's Newbury & Hobbes series for some years now. The stories are often fast-paced and exciting, with a lot more going on in the series' steampunk universe than intricate clockwork automata and chuffing great engines. The central duo of Sir Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes are often engaging and great fun (even if their mutual lusty restraint doesn't exactly chime). The books are blessed with a well-drawn cast of supporting characters, from Newbury's chum on the ...more
Elizabeth Judd Taylor
This is probably my favorite of the series so far. Trance visions coming to life, a female assassin who is over 100 years old and has a mechanical heart, strange hybrid creatures who roam the night...there's a lot of creepy fun in this one. Good cliffhanger, too. A series which continues to intrigue--looking forward to the next one being published.
Jul 03, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is also on my blog

The Executioner's Heart is part of the Newbury and Hobbes series, but I wouldn't let that be a barrier to diving right in. I've not read any of the others, as yet, and I had a mighty fine time.

It’s 1903. Queen Victoria is still on the throne, a malevolent, semi-human presence powered by a clockwork heart and obsessed with control and power. But a more immediate danger stalks the streets with murderous intent and no concept of
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2013 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my blog:

Though the fourth novel in Mann's Newbury & Hobbes series, a new reader would have no trouble picking up this book and diving in. Being the first I've read of the series, I had little trouble following the story or characters as any references to past events were explained sufficiently.

The only issue I had following the story was the lack of prologue use. It wasn't a huge issue and
really my own fault. I realize some authors dislike the u
Steve Cotterill
What can I say about this book? It's the fourth in a series the Newbury and Hobbes Investigations, based in a turn of the century Britain in a steampunk past where zombies are commonplace and mad science is very much in vogue. Queen Victoria is a monster, magic is real and there are worrying portents about the future. Our protagonists, Sir Maurice Newbury, and Veronica Hobbes are secret agents, reporting directly to the Queen, and working closely with the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Charles Bainb ...more
Wing Kee
Getting better, but still digging itself out of the trench.

I enjoy Mann’s writing, it’s well written and fun to read. What I don’t like is the poor pacing, sloppy characterizations and development, and half assed semi clichéd characters (Newbury is a brain dead Holmes). That being said, the last two books in the entry have gotten much better due to well…less Newbury being Newbury in formers books:

World: The world is an interesting one. The one reason why I still choose to read this book is beca
Jan 02, 2016 Malcolm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alt-worlds
Newberry and Hobbes’ fourth adventure finds them on the trail of a merciless killer seemingly targeting random victims and as part of their killing, removing their heart. It seems a perplexing case of a serial killer in a book that continues the shift in the series’ narrative arc away from its original focus on the occult and supernatural towards a more dominant theme centred on the affairs of state and twisting complexities and conspiracies of power. It is as if the steampunk that this series i ...more
Linda Baker
Jul 23, 2013 Linda Baker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
It seems like a very long time between the release of The Immorality Engine,# 3 in the Newbury and Hobbes Series and #4, The Executioner's Heart. In my opinion, Newbury and Hobbes is one of the best steampunk series out there, but I was vaguely disappointed. I don't know whether it was the long wait, but many of the events described as happening in the past seemed unfamiliar to me. In The Executioner's Heart a hired killer has surfaced in London; a woman, beautiful, heavily tattooed and showing ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Tammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Executioner's Heart is the fourth in this fun, steampunk mystery from George Mann. A bit steampunk, a bit Sherlock Holmes with a dash of international intrigue all wrapped up in one cohesive story. This time the detectives are up against the most frightening villainess England has yet seen; known only as The Executioner. Chief Inspector Charles Bainbridge knows that the murderer on the lose is stealing his victim's hearts after they have been stabbed. With no other leads he sends for superna ...more
Shaun Brady
Apr 22, 2013 Shaun Brady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
The 4th novel in the Newbury and Hobbes series, and the first stumble. Closer to a 3.5 or 3.75 so it gets a 4. This wasn't a bad book, it just didn't seem to fit and was more of a placeholder or transitional story.
This series is at its best when Newbury and Hobbes are working together. The beginning of this book was missing that, focusing mainly on minor characters and the villain, which just didn't work, I applaud the author for trying to do different things but this just felt flat. The middle
Anthony Burt
Okay I didn't realise that this book was number four in a series. Silly me, as it felt quite hard to get into the story. However, I ALSO think it was interesting to read this book because it was hard to get into for another reason too - it was so over-written.

I've been slowly learning that, with novels, less is definitely more and this Victorian-era steampunk detective story goes very oerboard on the character description, narrator voice and even the over-explaining dialogue (yet it still got pu
I'm being nice, giving this three stars. (view spoiler) I was rather bored for most of the book, and I kind of figured out who was behind everything about 60? pages in. It was pretty easy. I don't know if it was supposed to be a surprise, but it wasn't at all for me. Also, I read the previous book, yet everything they were referencing (and what made up half the book) was pretty much unfam ...more
Roger Kelly
Aug 29, 2013 Roger Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This latest book in the Newbury and Hobbes series moves the series on to a new phase. There are cracks in the relationships of the main characters. There are new characters and some old favourites.

The plot moves along at a pace and while I worked out who the hidden antagonist was fairly quickly, this didn't spoil the read.

What I like about this series is that the steampunk elements integrated into the world. In so many books the steampunk elements are tacked on. And while many elements of the p
Patrick Scattergood
Newbury and Hobbes return in this new adventure for the intrepid duo but this time with shocking results.

George Mann has always been a writer with a massive strength for writing exciting stories but with characters so strong that you actually care about what happens to them and that is exactly what we have here.

If you were to just write this off as a steam punk book then you would be really missing out on a cracking detective story that has shades of some of the best Sherlock Holmes stories, alb
Russell Sanderson
I enjoyed the book, but I felt it lacked some of the mystery and steampunk feel of the earlier books in the series. This was far more a straightforward political/spy/murder story. It feels very much like Mann is setting us up for a larger story, bringing together the scheming of the queen, a growing resistance to her tyranny within the empire and the resolution of the Newbury/Hobbes "will they/won't they" romance. I won't give any spoilers except to say that the book ends on a cliffhanger and se ...more
Ferdinand Digiuseppe
The Newbury and Hobbes books have all been easy, fun reads and this one was no exception. I think of them as a poor man's version of the Mark Hodder books (see the Burton and Swinburne series.)These books are not as busy as the B&S ones so they are much less complicated.
This book takes us into the Steampunk world of London in the early 20th century which is a great place for mystery. Lots of murder and crazy characters including a Queen Victoria mechanically kept alive way past her time.
Jul 08, 2013 Tal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
A serial killer is loose on the streets of London, murdering apparently random members of the gentry with violent abandon. The corpses are each found with their chest cavities cracked open and their hearts removed. Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, suspects an occult significance to the crimes and brings Newbury and Hobbes in to investigate.

i really like the Newbury & Hobbes books, and they remind me somewhat of Lilith Saintcrow's Bannon & Clare series - the same calm
Stephanie Jewett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Return of the Discontinued Man (Burton & Swinburne, #5)
  • The Martian Ambassador (Blackwood and Harrington, #1)
  • Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl (Gideon Smith, #1)
  • Doktor Glass
  • Leviathan Rising (Pax Britannia, #2)
  • The Great Game (The Bookman Histories, #3)
  • The Constantine Affliction
  • The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, #2)
  • The Dragon Men (Clockwork Empire, #3)
  • Fiddlehead (The Clockwork Century, #5)
  • The Red Plague Affair (Bannon & Clare, #2)
  • The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, #3)
  • Jack Cloudie (Jackelian, #5)
  • Morlock Night
George Mann is an author and editor, primarily in genre fiction. He was born in Darlington, County Durham in 1978.
A former editor of Outland, Mann is the author of The Human Abstract, and more recently The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual in his Newbury and Hobbes detective series, set in an alternate Britain, and Ghosts of Manhattan, set in the same universe some decades later.
He wrote the T
More about George Mann...

Other Books in the Series

Newbury and Hobbes (5 books)
  • The Affinity Bridge (Newbury and Hobbes, #1)
  • The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes, #2)
  • The Immorality Engine (Newbury and Hobbes, #3)
  • The Revenant Express (Newbury and Hobbes, #5)

Share This Book