New Year’s Day, 1889. In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.
Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient – a girl who had been mute for years.
What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?
McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill – home of the Lancashire witches – where unimaginable danger awaits…
Paperback | 432 pages
Publisher: Penguin (11th February, 2016)
I started to read this right off the bat of the first book and where I thought there was a sense of comradery between Frey and McGray, I find they are more at odds now than they were before. I have learnt – from the previous book – to expect the unexpected and am keeping my eyes open in terms of the truth behind the guilty culprit.
This was very easy to read. It’s a book I read in two days and I was living for the story! I enjoy the blend of crime with the supernatural/paranormal. It makes the read rather unique.
I had thought Frey and McGray had come to an understanding or at least that they’d moved past acquaintances but they were at each other’s throats more here, than in the first book!
I strongly connected to Frey in the first book but here, I found a lot of his actions to be irritating. His whining that McGray teases him about became an annoying focal point. I completely understand his character and why he is the way he is, but I now want to see his character develop and grow.
McGray had more of a character arch here because he was so invested in what was happening and how it could be connected to his sister. I learnt more about McGray in this book and understood more about his thoughts, actions, and feelings.
I think the two characters are quite similar, and if they ever stop fighting, they might see that.
This was easy to visualise. It’s not a book where you need knowledge of a place to understand what is happening. Everything flows in harmony and I stayed within the book for the entire read.
I read this over two days, during a period when I was really struggling. I wasn’t enjoying anything and yet, this book managed to take me away from the turmoil and allowed me to escape for a while – which is very important. I love the dynamic between Frey and McGray, it’s something I’ve come to love through reading and they really are perfectly matched to each other.
Joan, George, and Larry, are the perfect supporting class to be the servants of the two gentlemen and between the five of them, there is much banter and humorous moments.
I love this series. I have wanted to read these books for such a long time and it is exciting to read them and see them live up to my own expectations.