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

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  433 ratings  ·  64 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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Tor Books (first published June 28th 2013)
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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-
⊱ Irena ⊰
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 en
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
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
Fred Hughes
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Shaun Brady
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
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
Linda Baker
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
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
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
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
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
I have never found anything to complain about in this series. They are so fluid and fun. I am on the edge of my seat for the next one, for sure. I think I kind of ruined steampunk for myself, though, by starting with George Mann.. Now every other steampunk story I read just pales in comparison! And it's such a fun genre. Now I think I'm just looking for a flaw where there isn't one. Thank you, George, for doing what you do and for doing it so well.
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
Patrick Challis
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
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.
3 and a half really.

A compelling story of Victorian detective work and the occult with Sir Maurice and the scandalously independent Veronica. I have been waiting for this book for what seems like forever, mainly due to an addiction to the characters. The book leaves the reader on the edge of a precipice which isn't very comfortable, but is exciting. How I'll wait until July 2014 for the next one I don't know. If I have any criticism it is that I can sometimes see the author's influences a little
a cliffhanger ending. These are getting quite fantastical. And how does Newbury have the energy for the continued fights one after the other? I think I enjoyed the first book in the series best
I felt this was another strong addition to the series.

(view spoiler)

I liked the antagonist. (view spoiler)
Solid and satisfying. These characters speak to me and I have enjoyed their adventures. Looking forward to more. If you're looking for steampunk with an emphasis on characters rather than environment (the steampunk world is truly background--never overstated by Mr. Mann) then these books are just what you should try.
Interesting, and a wee bit gruesome in places. Yay!
Was a bit disappointed in this one as expected more steampunk and less gore. Still a fun read if you like the old empire.
Rowdy Scarlett
The eagerly awaited start of the second Newbury & Hobbes trilogy is off to a roaring start! Mann has got these characters lovingly crafted to a T. As with the last trilogy, the book starts a little slow, then about a third of the way into it, it really picks up the pace. Why must there be such a long time between books!!!???
Oh, I know I really didn't say anything specific about the story, but I really don't want to give anything away. If you're into Steampunk, the Victorian era and Sherloc
Jon Keeyes
While I thought the second book in the series was so-so, I loved the first and third book. This fourth book, for the most part, was a sleeper as seems to be a common remark about it. It took forever to become interesting as it trudged along hoping to be something more than it was. I did enjoy the final quarter of the book and the semi cliff-hanger ending has been curious to see where things will go. In the end, though, it felt like a hurried book in the vast array of writing and editing that the ...more
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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)
The Affinity Bridge (Newbury and Hobbes, #1) The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes, #2) The Immorality Engine (Newbury and Hobbes, #3) Ghosts of Manhattan (The Ghost, #1) Doctor Who: Engines of War

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