Sometimes it takes a very special person to change our lives forever. For Geoffrey Thraxton, it is that one special person who he first perceives to be an angel. That is majorly the story in the novel "The Angel of Highgate" by Vaughn Entwistle. This is not a story of finding love. This is not a story of good versus evil. This is a story of how just one person – one very special person who moves our heart and touches our soul – can make everything else in the world seem trivial because that person ultimately becomes THE most important person in our lives. They say that people come in and out of our lives for a reason. That we meet people at certain times in our lives when we are supposed to meet them. That is what happens in this story here. In the beginning, Lord Thraxton is a scoundrel, egotistical, brash, materialistic and rude. But when Aurelia Greenley comes into his life, it changes him and everything he lived for.
The characters in this novel were such an interesting mix. There was the twisted Dr. Silas Garrette, who is creepy (and what he does with fetal corpses is creepier). There is Mordecai Fowler, leader of the lowest scums running through the darkest and scariest alleys of London, who kills anyone who crosses him and has a sick bloodthirst for murder. There is Algernon Hyde-Davies, Geoffrey’s best friend and sometimes blundering associate as he tags along from one tryst to the next. And then there is Aurelia, the delicate young woman cursed with an illness that keeps her in the dark.
Set in London, 1859 – a time when soon the terror of Jack the Ripper will haunt Whitechapel and one author will bring to the world the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes – "The Angel of Highgate" is an historical novel filled with mystery, brutality, adventure and excitement. I was very fixated on this novel. The story is brilliantly written, brought to life in such a way that I was trapped within the heavy fogs of London and fearing for my life when Dr. Garrette zeroes in on his next victim. The story had me reading several chapters at a time to find out what happened next and I was not disappointed as the stakes grew higher and higher. Here is a novel that doesn’t just tell a story; it grabs the reader by the hand and takes her along a journey mystery and mayhem. One must have a strong stomach to read this book, as the author spares no misgivings in crafting his scenes of murder and torture, but it is worth getting through to make it to the surprising and beautiful ending that awaits readers on the last pages. I really enjoyed reading this novel and was delighted to learn it is a prequel to the author’s other novel, which is a story starring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Reading this novel made me want to read that book, too.
“NOTHING LESS THAN THE WICKEDEST MAN IN LONDON…”
It is October 1859, and notorious philanderer Lord Geoffrey Thraxton cares for nothing except his own amusement. After humiliating an odious literary critic and surviving the resulting duel, he boasts of his contempt for mortality, and insults the attending physician. It is a mistake he will come to regret. When Thraxton becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman who appears to him one fog-shrouded night in Highgate Cemetery, he unwittingly provides the doctor with the perfect means to punish a man with no fear of death…