In The Executioner’s Heart we are dropped into an alternative steampunk Victorian world where Scotland Yard is called in to a series of murders The victims have had their chests cracked open and their hearts removed, and because there is a ritual element to the deaths the head of the investigation, Sir Charles Bainbridge, calls in Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant Veronica Hobbes, who specialise in dealing with the supernatural in a scientific manner.
It quickly becomes clear that the legendary killer The Executioner is involved, but what’s the motive and why take the hearts?
Why did I want to read it?
I’m not sure where I came across this book but I know one of the attractions, besides the storyline (which let’s face it is quite cool) is the very lovely cover.
What did I think of it?
One chapter in I realised that this was not the first in the series of books about Newbury and Hobbes (it is in fact the fourth novel and there is also a book of short stories) but by then I was hooked and decided to continue (although pleasingly I realise that we have the first two on our shelves already – they belong to the Book God). I enjoyed it. It has a very nasty killer whose back story we come to learn as the plot unfolds, it has plotting and intrigue and spies and rituals and cults and action sequences and Queen Victoria is a totally monstrous figure, and of course it has a cliffhanger. Quite a big cliffhanger actually, will be interesting to see how it works out in the next novel which I think comes out this summer.
UPDATED due to appalling proofreading, dreadful spelling and the lack of closing bracket. Sloppy work if you ask me.