This is the first in Craig’s ‘Sooty Feathers’, a Victorian-era horror whodunnit series (think ‘Burke and Hare’ meets ‘Interview with the Vampire’), and it goes off at a well-handled pace, building steam up nicely as the story develops.
Admittedly, the blurb gives too much away (though it won’t spoil everything), there is some repetition which needs looking at, and some parts need tweaking, but don’t let any of that put you off; the characterisation and world-building, which are both excellent, are where Craig’s strengths lie – his feel for his protagonists’ motives and for dingy, dirty, late 19th century Glasgow is palpable. He has obviously done some solid research on the customs, costume and language of the era, pulling the reader into a living landscape.
I don’t review a lot of horror but I’m very pleased that I took this one on, and look forward to more of Craig’s work – based on this solid debut, the series promises much.
I’m pretty sure you won’t be satisfied with just one bite, either.
Wilton Hunt, a student, and Tam Foley, a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers, or ‘resurrection men’, under cover of darkness. They exhume a girl’s corpse, only for it to disappear while their backs are turned. Confused and in need of the money the body would have earnt them, they investigate the corpse’s disappearance. They discover that bodies have started to turn up in the area with ripped-out throats and severe loss of blood, although not the one they lost. The police are being encouraged by powerful people to look the other way, and the deaths are going unreported by the press. As Hunt and Foley delve beneath the veneer of respectable society, they find themselves entangled in a dangerous underworld that is protected from scrutiny by the rich and powerful members of the elite but secretive Sooty Feathers Club.
Meanwhile, a mysterious circus arrives in the middle of the night, summoned to help avenge a betrayal two centuries old…
I do not get paid for blog tours or giving my opinion, and this is my honest review.