The Angel Of Highgate by Vaughn Entwistle

The publishers claim this book is a prequel to Entwistle’s “Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”. The eminent Victorian is not present in this tale but his sense of mystery, adventure and great storytelling certainly runs through this highly enjoyable novel. All the elements for a popular Victorian melodrama are here – a raffish hero, dastardly baddies, opium dens, prostitutes, duels, disguise, séances, pea-soupers – you can tick all the boxes but it’s written with such relish that everything seems fresh.

A startling occurrence in Highgate cemetery opens proceedings and the hero will certainly begin by shocking his readers until he discovers romance amongst the gravestones and his philandering gives way to more appropriately heroic behaviour. The way he deals, however, with a critic who savages his poetry should make all of us reviewers wince. This is a splendid romp, fast-paced and very readable with extremely memorable characters. I haven’t had so much fun in Victorian London since James Benmore’s “Dodger” series. I’m not sure how this book relates to Entwistle’s other novels but I am confident it would be great to find out.

Phil Ramage
Personal 4
Group 4

The Angel Of Highgate by Vaughn Entwistle
9781783295340 Titan Books pbk Dec 2015

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