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Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour—but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.
Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.
Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?
It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.
There was murder in the first chapter – the suspected killer covered in blood and couldn’t remember anything … and THAT was how you hooked your readers.
The 3rd book in Whyborne and Griffin series was definitely my favorite to date. It had the great combination of mystery, romance, a dash of humor (Whyborne was grumpy about the progress of electricity coming to Whiddershin, it was adorable!!), emotional angst (oh Griffin, poor Griffin), and horror (seriously, stories in an asylum where they treat the crazy always give me the creeps!).
Let me tell you why this was my favorite to date – first, Whyborne and Griffin’s relationship. Griffin took the case and it brought him back to Stormhaven, the asylum where he was kept when he was deemed insane, and it shook him to the core. I loved that this book gave more backstory about Griffin and what happened to him. And for me, how Whyborne handled the emotional Griffin was wonderful. Their love towards one another was palpable and it was clear that this event would strengthen their relationship.
Then Whyborne … oh, how the gentle Ival progressed. From the shy and socially inept in book one, Dr. Percival Endicott Whyborne was now embracing the power of performing spells and sorcerous incantations from Liber Arcanorum to fight the villains. Whyborne showed that he got spine!
The portrayal of the asylum here was quite vividly creepy … I got chills. Imagine all the insane people, combined with ritual sacrifice to call a sea god by possessing men, in a dark and mysterious floor of an asylum… SHUDDERS!! Not a place I want to visit anytime soon, that’s for sure.
I must admit that I was slightly irritated with Christine in this book though. Previously, I always thought that she was such a rock star in a book filled with men – but here, she was a bit too crass and insensitive when it came to Griffin’s inability to tell his parents about his sexual orientation. She annoyed me in that sense … because really, she didn’t know the whole story. In addition, not everyone could tell easily their loved ones about this issue, no matter what time-period they live in.
Bottom line, I really enjoy this series and I can’t wait to read the next one…