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Friday, May 19, 2017

Review - Where the Dead Lie

I have been following this series since the sixth book in the series and became an instant fan.  I have even been going back and picking up the first books.  I have reviewed When Falcons Fall (click here), Who Buries the Dead (click here), Why Kings Confess" (click here), "What Darkness Brings" (click here), "When Maidens Mourn" (click here), and "Where Shadows Dance" (click here).  We were also honored to interview C.S. Harris (click here.)  As a side note, I also reviewed a modern thriller, The Archangel Project (click here) by this author under the pen name CS Graham.  Let's see how the series is doing now that we are into the twelfth book.

Author: CS Harris

Copyright: April 2017 (Berkley) 347 pgs

Series: 12th in Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series

Sensuality:  Serial killer subject matter, children victims

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Detective

Main Characters: Sebastian St. Cyr (Viscount Devlin) a veteran of the Peninsula wars with Napoleon and a nobleman.

Setting: 1813, London England

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From book cover: "London, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is no stranger to the dark side of the city, but he’s never seen anything like this: the brutalized body of a fifteen-year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory.

One of London’s many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin’s fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished.

Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city’s most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: someone from society’s upper echelon is preying upon the city’s most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm..."

We have Sebastian and new wife Hero front and center again.  But Hero is dealing with emotional upheaval with her seriously ill mother and can't assist in the investigation. Sebastian, newly a father, takes this case particularly personal as his heart breaks for these unfortunate street children meeting evil ends. Sebastian faces emotional issues with his father too.  

Gibson, Sebastian's dear friend who essentially performs the duties of a medical examiner, joins the cast again still fighting his personal demons.  Hero's father Jarvis is somehow involved - even if it's the possibility that he could know the killer's identity but doesn't divulge it for his own manipulations, which causes tension to build even further with Sebastian.  They seem to be building to an explosive show-down at some point.  Tom is especially at risk because he fits the profile of the abducted children and Sebastian tries to keep him safely at home, which Tom takes offence to being excluded.  Homeless former soldier Rory Inchbald and street kid Toby Dancing are just a few of the many sad people Sebastian interviews.  Then there are the people who try to aid the street children Reverend Filby and Icarus Cantrell.  Cantrell, aka The Professor, is considered a fence for stolen items and is the breakout character in this novel.

The subject matter is a bit darker than the usual with many atmospheric touches to ratchet the tension rather than dwell on details of the killings.  Abandoned factories, back alleys, brothels that cater to more sadistic tastes, and so forth are the myriad of settings.  

The plot exposes the calloused side of society towards the defenseless without being preachy. I do have to say that the multiple visits to the same suspects seemed (IMHO) to slow the action a bit.  The climax was filled with tension and danger, a real nail-biter.  This particular story leaves the reader with a threat close to Sebastian's family that will no doubt be carried into the next book.  

This addition to the series is a little darker than prior books in the series.  But I didn't feel it was gruesome rather enough to get a sense of the torture done.  That said, because the victims are children I am giving a trigger warning.  This book in the series shows considerable emotional changes for both Sebastian and Hero, a seemingly impossible to solve serial killer, and dark brooding settings.  I feel it is a well crafted story although rather somber.

Rating:  Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My first cozy mystery ever Iced (Resort to Murder #1) by Avery Daniels is on pre-sale for a whopping low price of .99. This low price will be for a limited time only.  The official release day is May 31st. 


Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime. 

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what's best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn't understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice. 

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to her widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

Preorder the kindle edition (click here.)
Print book is due shortly, I will include link then.

Oh, and if you have a blog and would like to do a spotlight or a review, just leave me a comment.

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Mystica said...

Fascinating. Thank you for the review

prince said...

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