'THE MOST SAVAGE OF BEASTS IS TO BE FOUND WITHIN THE HEART OF MAN.'
It is 1817, Regency England. Thomas Blackdown, a thieftaker and ex-soldier, receives word that his brother and father are in deep trouble and need his help. But Blackdown is a man that harbours bitter memories; a man banished from his homeland because of a terrible accident, and so is reluctant to return to his ancestral home in Somerset.
However, once there he discovers that his brother has been savagely murdered - torn to shreds by a mythical creature the locals call the Blackdown Beast. Thomas Blackdown does not believe in a creature of fantasy, and is determined to bring to justice his brother's murderer, encouraged by his brother's fiancé, Julianne Tresham, and aided by the faithful servant Addison.
But Blackdown is quickly drawn deep into a complicated web of deceit, power, greed and murder involving Lord Tresham - Julianne's father - and the cold Sir Peter Lansdowne. What is the mysterious Lupercal Club? Why do ex-soldiers go missing from Commodore Pettigrew's travelling theatre? What strange thing is happening in Devilbowl Wood where Blackdown's brother was found mutilated? And what savage, hellish creature prowls the night?
Soon, Blackdown must fight for his own life and face up to his demons both imaginary and real. He will need all his wits and skills to survive if he is ever to discover the shocking truth behind the evil that has penetrated as far as the government itself.
Set in Regency England following the end of the Napoleonic wars, 'Blackdown' is D. M. Mitchell at his creative best, crafting a believable world of strange, larger-than-life characters, with his trademark intricate plotting and surprise ending, a novel that is a rollicking good thriller, horror and adventure story rolled into one.
And in Thomas Blackdown, Mitchell has given us a hero like no other before - a Darcy with bite, a Bond in breeches...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent mystery thriller. This was a most enjoyable book. Thomas Blackdown, ex-soldier and disgraced son, returns home against his better judgment and after decades in exile. An urgent plea for help from his only brother is the only thing that could draw him home again. But upon his return, he finds circumstances are worse than he could have possibly imagined... Thomas Blackdown is an immediately likable character for fans of wrongly disgraced gentlemen, soldiers or spies, theiftakers, and men of questionable skill sets in general. Blackdown is the kind of guy who rents an empty room beside his own at an inn just in case, and leaves a feather in the keyhole to catch unwanted intruders. Fans of David Liss's Benjamin Weaver books will appreciate Blackdown. The villains and schemers are also expertly crafted. Any readers of historical mystery fiction will enjoy the action and intrigue of this book. The book is extremely well-written and well-plotted. There are plenty of twists and turns and secret clubs and legends of the supernatural to keep you guessing, and if anyone had it all figured out before the end, I'd be surprised. I'm very excited to see that there are more Blackdown books to come!