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The Executioner's Heart by George Mann

In this clever yet macabre story, a terrible killer is plaguing London in the time of Queen Victoria’s sinister, somewhat mechanised reign. The murderer, known as The Executioner, brutalises the victim’s bodies and steals the heart. 

Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard soon finds himself with bodies piling up and rooms filled with blood with no leads as to the perpetrator and motive. So he sends for supernatural specialist Sir Maurice Newbury and his earnest assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes. Not only must they find the killer quickly but they have a multitude of other problems that crop up to scupper their progress.

I was a bit saddened to notice that this isn't the first Newbury & Hobbes book, as there are many references to some of their adventures, all of which sound very interesting! I really enjoyed this book so I will have to go back and read them. 

Newbury & Hobbes are great central characters; a brilliant yet reckless gentleman detective and a strong willed, tender hearted female sidekick with an underlying love story between the two. The steampunk inclusions were highly imaginative with fantastical creatures and mind boggling machines, and I also liked the references to the occult and the supernatural. The detail in the story was very good; gruesome and gory without being vulgar and with some excerpts delving into The Executioner’s viewpoint, it all painted a fuller picture. 

There is something for everyone as this book is a great mix of crime, history, steampunk and supernatural, bound together with a riveting storyline. If you like any or all of the above then this is definitely worth the read. 

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