Genre: Steam Punk, Science Fiction
It is early in the twentieth century. London is a city of clockwork automatons, steam powered vehicles, airships, and strange human-machine hybrids. Not to mention revenents infected with an exotic disease.
Queen Victoria is being kept alive by a mixture of science, chemicals and machines. Sir Maurice Newbury serves the Queen as a secret investigative agent. Newbury has some personal issues. Amongst these is an addiction to opiates. He is given the assignment of bringing in a rogue agent who died five years ago, but is still somehow alive. The clues he follows include an Egyptian mummy, missing women, the occult, and a mad scientist.
Newbury works with his trusted assistant, Veronica Hobbs. She too has secrets. Unknown to Newbury, she is also an agent of the Queen. And her sickly sister has visions of the future.
This book is the second of the Newbury and Hobbs Investigations series by George Mann. Mann moves the plot forward with plenty of action. He creates a London that is dismal with fog and coal smoke. Steam powered trains serve as urban rail. Mann's steam punk London is a mixture of advanced steam powered technology and horse powered Hansom cabs. The story, and the setting, make for a great read.
The first book in the series is The Affinity Bridge, also a great read.