Monday, August 20, 2007

Mystery Book Review: The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website. (MBN Note: Enter to win one of two copies of The Hellfire Conspiracy with bookplates signed by the author, generously provided by the publisher, that we are giving away this month on our Mystery Books Sweepstakes website.)The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas

The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas
A Barker and Llewelyn Mystery

Simon & Schuster (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-406-54805-X (141654805X)
ISBN-13: 978-1-406-54805-8 (9781406548058)
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $24.00

Synopsis (from the publisher): When Barker and Llewelyn are hired to find a girl from the upper classes who has gone missing in the East End, they assume her kidnapping is the work of white slavers. But when they discover five girls have been murdered in Bethnal Green, taunting letters begin to arrive in Craig's Court from a killer calling himself Mr. Miacca.

Barker fears that Miacca might be part of the Hellfire Club, a group of powerful, hedonistic aristocrats performing Satanic rituals. He must track the fiend to his hideout, while Llewelyn confronts the man who put him in prison.

Review: Private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn take on assignment to find a missing upper class twelve year girl in The Hellfire Conspiracy, the fourth mystery in this series by Will Thomas.

The girl was abducted from the East End, a low class, seedy part of London. Barker and Llewelyn had heard that the white slavers were back who may have taken her to sell her to someone who would whisk her out of the country and concentrate their efforts there. During their intense search, however, they come upon knowledge that five other girls between the ages of eleven and fourteen had been found murdered and tossed in the river. They were nude, raped, their faces painted like some satanic ritual, and one finger cut off at the first knuckle. This was definitely not the work of the white slavers. They finally find the missing girl in the River Thames, nude, raped and strangled, with her face painted and one finger cut off at the knuckle. Though convinced the white slavers were not responsible for this crime, there are other sinister secret cults at work. Their search goes on in the darkest, most barbaric, desolate, and uncivilized parts of London. When another child, age eleven, disappears, Barker pledges to the parents that they will find her before she, too, is killed.

Though the crimes here are against children, the author doesn't dwell on the murders but instead focuses on the investigation by Barker and Llewelyn. When they discover who the malicious murderer is, Llewelyn professes surprise though Barker claims he knew it all along; most readers will as well.

Set in late 1880s London, the period and location details add a mysterious atmospheric layer to a well-paced plot. Despite the horrific nature of the crimes, The Hellfire Conspiracy is a pleasure to read.

Special thanks to Touchstone Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy of The Hellfire Conspiracy for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

Return to ...


Post a Comment

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2022 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2022 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved