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Doktor Glass

Doktor Glass [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Brennan

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Product Description

Product Description

In an age of Zeppelins and gyroplanes, atomics and horseless carriages, the Transatlantic Span is the industrial marvel of the nineteenth century. A monumental feat of engineering, the steel suspension bridge stretches across the Atlantic from Liverpool to the distant harbor of New York City, supported by no less than seven hundred towers. But in the shadows of its massive struts, on the docks of the River Mersey, lies a faceless corpse…

Inspector Matthew Langton is still seized with grief when he thinks of Sarah, his late wife. Tortured by nightmares and afflicted by breathless attacks of despair and terror, he forces himself to focus on the investigation of the faceless man. The victim wears the uniform of the Transatlantic Span Company but bears the tattoos of the Boers—could there be a Boer conspiracy to assassinate Queen Victoria on the upcoming Inauguration Day of the Span?

But the truth, as it begins to emerge, is far more bizarre than a political coup. As additional victims turn up—each with strange, twin burn marks on their necks—Langton draws a connection between the dead man beneath the bridge and chilling rumors of the Jar Bars, soul snatchers who come under cover of night. Most frightening of all is the mythic and elusive Doktor Glass, who may not only be behind the illicit trade in souls…but who may hold the key to what happened to the inspector’s own beloved wife on her deathbed…

About the Author

Thomas Brennan lives in Liverpool. In his day job he answers 999 calls as an emergency dispatcher. He has written several works of fiction for online magazines. This is his debut novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 581 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (31 Dec 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095ZOZ66
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #735,256 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This story is excellent. Mr. Brennan - please write more! 21 Feb 2013
By Ben Wade - Published on
This novel is a mystery/steampunk/dark fantasy story, set in Victorian Liverpool, with a bit of police procedural thrown in for good measure. The hero, Inspector Matthew Langton, is a recent widower haunted by dreams and flashs of confinement and fear involving his dead wife, Sarah. As he plunges himself into his work to battle his grief, investigating the gruesome murder of a faceless man, he finds hints of a sinister group, the Jar Boys, who trap souls at the point of death, and rent out the souls' experiences to jaded, upper-crust addicts.

As he investigates, he comes to realize that his wife's soul is one of the many who have been trapped by the Jar Boys and rented out - causing his wife's soul to become 'tainted' with the experiences of others. As he continues to investigate, murders by the mysterious Doktor Glass (a truly frightening villain) begin to mount, as someone within the police force leaks Inspector Langon's every move. He also begins to realize that the murders are somehow linked to the upcoming triumphal opening of the Transatlantic Span (bridge) connecting Liverpool and New York - and its imminent destruction.

Inspector Langston must juggle the conflicting priorities of rescuing his wife's soul, solving the mounting murders, finding the mysterious Doktor Glass, and saving the Transatlantic Span and Queen Victoria all at the same time. His burden is made heavier with the realization that the souls of the deceased can be placed in a new host body, as one of the antagonists proves. Inspector Langston must struggle with his conscience when given the opportunity to have his beloved Sarah back, in another host.

The story is well-written and engaging without so many characters that you lose the thread of the tale. I'm a long-time science-fiction and fantasy reader who grew up on "Ringworld", "The Moon is a Hard Mistress", and the like, and steampunk is relatively new to me, but if you enjoyed such novels as "The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack" and the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch (which I cannot recommend too highly), then you will really enjoy this story, as I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detective story in an alternate Victorian-era London--Recommended 22 Jan 2013
By Marie A. Parsons - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Inspector Matthew Langton recently became a widower, and he misses his dear wife Sarah with a deep-seated grief. The setting is in London, England. Victoria is queen. The Boer war has ended. And a Transatlantic Bridge nears completion.

Langton cannot eat, and survives on coffee and occasional alcohol. So when murder strikes, he struggles to focus on the facts of the case. When more murders occur and he realizes they are connected, he relies on his Sergeant McBride and his Harry. Langton's grief and struggle are not aided by his learning of a procedure which takes the soul of a deceased person and stores it--with the possible goal of placing that essence into a new "host" body.

This matters greatly to Langton because he discovers that his darling wife's soul is one of those so stored. And those who commit this procedure become part of his murder investigation.

If this sounds a bit of dark fantasy, it's more a good police procedural. Langton anguishes over the loss of his wife but he is a competent investigator. Not even interference from his superior, or from the Queen's own agents, will stop him learning the truth. And when Langton is faced with a terrible choice, one wants to cheer him on to making the choice of his heart. Suspects come and go, and Langton follows the trail. He is a good policeman.

The Transatlantic Span is not just a set-piece. It plays an integral part--and there is one scene which may make a reader seriously ponder, and re-think, crossing a bridge, any bridge, by any means, ever again.

When the villain is unmasked, even that discovery marks this novel as unusual. The villain's reasons sound so plausible and--well, there are so few truly unlikeable characters in this novel. The story is one of sheer genius.

I highly recommend this novel.
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent yarn. 9 April 2014
By marksil1 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very nice mystery with some unexpected twists. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys Victorian England and its mysteries.
4.0 out of 5 stars combines voodoo, history, fantasy and science into a believable whole. 28 Feb 2013
By A.M Donovan - Published on
Taking place in a believable steam punk variation of Victorian England after the second Boer wars, (nasty bit of history there) at a time when is seems that the new technology can accomplish anything. Drawing from Voodoo lore the concept of trapping a soul in a bottle for evil ends and the concept that energy cannot be created or destroyed, so pairing hard science with superstition in the best steam punk tradition, Thomas brings us an engaging, smoothly constructed tale that combines folklore and history.
Starting with an everyman type of character, Inspector Matthew Langton is trying to deal with the death of his beloved wife, Sarah, while solving the mystery of a man who was killed and mutilated that also bears the marks of a Boer. Langton is by no stretch of the imagination a Sherlock Holmes, but on investigating the lodgings of the dead man, discovers evidence that seems to direct him to a plot by the Boer’s to destroy the greatest engineering marvel of the British Empire and possibly the Queen.
Add in a mad genius, the Caisson Widows, dark secrets and a sick collection and we have the pleasure of seeing a very promising new writer emerge onto the scene. Hopefully his wife will allow him to continue writing for our continued pleasure, instead of encouraging him to get a “real” job. I strongly encourage you to try out this new author, I, personally, was not disappointed. © Night Owl Reviews - [...]
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk Mystery 19 Feb 2013
By SciFiChick - Published on
Langton is still grieving, yet is back at work and assigned to investigate the murder of a man whose face was removed. But in trying to deal with his wife’s death, he begrudgingly visits a psychic and makes a startling discovery that leads to a clue about the faceless man. The setting is an alternate Victorian England, dark and eerie with a different science that merges science fiction and fantasy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this steampunk mystery, with its many suspects and twists. Fast-paced and difficult to put down, I followed along captivated till the very end. Though, I was taken aback when Langton confronts Doktor Glass, and a difficult choice in morality comes into play. I struggled right along with Langton. And though I don’t think I’d make the same choices, the book certainly succeeds in making the reader second-guess and ponder choices. Dark and somber, the mood of this steampunk is a bit different along with its unique storyline.

This review was previously posted at SciFiChick.
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