What Rough Beast by H. R. Knight

February 1, 2005
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What Rough Beast
H. R. Knight

Dorchester Leisure
02/01/2005
Trade Paperback/374 pages
ISBN: 0-8439-5456-6
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". . . combines the brash aggressive energy of America and the polish and subtlety of Victorian England . . ."

". . . a demon unleashes a siege of madness into staid Victorian London."

Mankind was created from the ashes of a god and within each of us lies creativity and destruction, the gifts of the gods.

 

 

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the very popular Sherlock Holmes series, has killed Holmes at Reichenbach Falls and his public clamors for more. During Harry Houdini’s show, Conan Doyle agrees to bring back Holmes to distract the audience from a dangerous situation on stage that may very well kill Houdini. True to form, Houdini escapes and invites Conan Doyle to watch the unmasking of a fake medium. Instead, they unleash chaos.

 

 

Houdini, Conan Doyle and a group of acquaintances witness a bizarre and arcane ritual that ends in the release of a demon that possesses one of them and unleashes a siege of madness into staid Victorian London. Each feels first a creative fire and then violent madness. It could be any one of them, and time is running out.

 

 

What Rough Beast combines the brash aggressive energy of America and the polish and subtlety of Victorian England in a story that pits wits and ingenuity against the power of an ancient god. H. R. Knight catches the reader from the first page, takes them on a tour of what it really means when the hand of the god of madness and creativity brushes you, and provides a surprising and fitting ending that resonates with the times. Knight deftly blends social and political themes into a homogenous mix that is both subtle and daring, coloring all with an authenticity of voice that transports the reader into the midst of a Victorian England emerging from a long sleep into the light of a new century.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell

 

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