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Publishers Weekly -Starred Review.
Gallagher's new thriller, set in England in 1912, introduces Sebastian Becker, a resourceful, underpaid government detective charged with investigating the finances of rich eccentrics. Responding to claims that wealthy Sir Owain Lancaster lost his sanity on an ill-fated trip to the Amazon, during which his wife and child perished, Becker travels from his cramped offices in London's notorious Bethlem Hospital to the rural town of Arnmouth. There, he discovers that Lancaster may be connected to the murder of two young girls. Page's narration captures and enhances the dark and unsettling mood of the book. He employs a proper, clipped British accent for the bright, dedicated Becker, but softens his delivery when addressing the sleuth's personal problems-his job's meager pay and his frequent travels, his strained marriage, his concerns for his autistic son. The voices Page lends the supporting characters are equally on target-among them are Becker's spirited wife, a frustrated local lawman unjustly disrespected by the town, and two courageous women who were fortunate enough to escape the murderer when they were young girls. For Sir Owain, Page creates a voice that sounds older, but remains vital and confident, leaving the character's mental state-which plays a key part in Becker's unraveling of the tightly knit whodunit-ambiguous for a good portion of the novel. A Crown hardcover.
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