Dana Stabenow's Reviews > The Bedlam Detective

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher
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's review
Feb 09, 12

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Read from February 06 to 07, 2012

Sir Owain Lancaster goes to South America on a scientific expedition, suffers the loss of wife, child and almost all his men, and comes home a changed man, to the point that now, in 1913, his sanity is in question. Sebastian Becker, ex-Pinkerton agent and current investigator to the Masters of Lunacy, whose remit it is to determine if British noblemen have gone insane and should be relieved of their property and placed in care, arrives on the scene. To complicate matters, two young girls are kidnapped and murdered practically the same moment Sebastian steps off the train, a crime which echoes the kidnapping and rape of two other young girls twenty years before. Is Sir Owain mad indeed, mad enough to commit child murder?

This book reads like Gallagher spent a lot of prep time reading books like Frankenstein and Dracula and The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and it shows in the looming menace of every gloomy Edwardian scene. The biggest mystery here is if Sir Owain was nuts before the grubs.

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