“Intellectually stimulating and viscerally exciting, The Darwin Affair is breathtaking from start to stop.” —The Wall Street Journal Get ready for one of the most inventive and entertaining novels of 2019—an edge-of-your-seat Victorian-era thriller, where the controversial publication On the Origin of Species sets off a string of unspeakable crimes.
London, June 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Was Victoria really the assassin’s target? Are those closest to the Crown hiding something? And who is the shadowy figure witnesses describe as having lifeless, coal-black eyes?
Soon, Field’s investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin’s controversial On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a madman named the Chorister. As the investigation takes Field from the dangerous alleyways of London to the hallowed halls of Oxford, the list of possible conspirators grows, and the body count escalates. And as he edges closer to the Chorister, he uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden.
Tim Mason has created a rousing page-turner that both Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would relish and envy.
|Publisher:||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Tim Mason is a playwright whose work has enjoyed numerous productions in New York City and throughout the world for decades. Among the awards he has received are a Kennedy Center Award, the Hollywood Drama-Logue Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Rockefeller Foundation grant. In addition to his dramatic plays, he wrote the book for Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, which had two seasons on Broadway and tours nationally every year. He is the author of one young adult novel, The Last Synapsid, published in 2009. The Darwin Affair is his first adult novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very well researched and written, The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason tells a story of intrigue, science and religion centered on protecting Prince Albert from would-be assassins. Concerned with the spreading of Darwin's new theory of evolution, powerful men are plotting to keep the theory from spreading and perhaps upsetting the class system. Chief Detective of the London Police, Mr. Field, begins to see conspiracy in the attempted assassination, and murders of various street criminals, many of whom are found missing their left ears. We follow Inspector Field as he travels the country looking for the assassin and puzzling out the reasons and methods of the plot. The reader also learns the inner life of the killer, and his sadistic and cruel ways and past. Intriguing, dense, and interesting, the novel keeps one engaged til the very end. Highly recommend.
The Darwin Affair begins with assassination attempt on Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort. Those in power believe this to be the work of one mentally ill man. Detective Inspector Charles Field sees it otherwise. Field begins to piece together a puzzle that leads him to a connection with Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and involves some of the most prominent and power men in the Empire. A great read!! This story grabbed me from the beginning, and had me racing right along with it. It was intricately plotted with multiple twists, but was never confusing. It also touched on many of the injustices and horrors of life in Victorian England, and did so in a way that made it integral to the plot. The characters were fascinating. There are appearances by prominent real life individuals of the day, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and many other men of science, government, commerce, and religion. But it was the obscure individuals, the maids, mudlarks, butcher boys, and police sergeants who peopled the story that really kept me captivated. Mr. Mason has written a story filled with striking period detail, riddled with dry humor, and several twists. I was riveted from the beginning, and think you will be too. My thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Press for the advance copy of this book for my review.
When a madman attempts to shoot into the open carriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and misses, he is immediately captured, but no one believes him when he says he wasn’t shooting at the Queen. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field is present as the Queen’s carriage drives approaches him just as he sees a petty thief he’s arrested before with something that looks to him like a gun. He calls out to the man and then accosts him. Then he hears shots fired further up the road and rushes there to see the police capture and disarm the madman. When he returns to the petty thief, he finds him dead with his throat slit and his left ear missing. Later that day, he’s ordered to the Palace for an audience with the Prince. He tells the Prince there might be a conspiracy involved and that he’s not really sure the madman was shooting at the queen. Like Field, you’ll be asking yourself what’s going on as you read this fast paced story. The book is well-written and quickly picks up the pace to become a page turner. Mason doles out clues, some of them unknown to Field, to the reader without giving the reader enough to solve the crime before the book ends. He’s also included real and well-known people, like Prince Albert, Charles Dickens, and Charles Darwin, author of the recently published On the Origin of Species, which has set off a maelstrom of controversy as the book opens. If you enjoy historical mysteries, put this book on your TBR pile. Thanks to Algonquin and Edelweiss for an eARC.