As the Special Investigator to the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy, Sebastian Becker delivers justice to those dangerous madmen whose fortunes might otherwise place them above the law. But in William James he faces a different challenge; to prove a man sane, so that he may hang. Did the reluctant showman really burn down a crowded pavilion with the audience inside? And if not, why is this British sideshow cowboy so determined to shoulder the blame?
It’s a blinding novel… the acerbic wit, the brilliant dialogue – the sheer spot-on elegance of the writing: the plot turns, the pin sharp beats. Always authoritative and convincing, never showy. Magnificently realised characters in a living breathing world… Absolutely stunning.Stephen Volk
Gallagher gives Sebastian Becker another puzzle worthy of his quirky sleuth’s acumen in this outstanding third pre-WW1 mystery.Publishers Weekly
There is much to admire here, as the tightly wound plot spins us round constantly and shoots with dead-eye precision towards its conclusion. There is so much incidental detail that it is a joy to read and manages to sit lightly in a way that Dan Brown never could. The links and movements and comparison between the troubles of the respective families involved are masterful and I’m so in love with Sebastian I’ve ordered the two previous novelsSF Crowsnest
Only bad thing about his books is that they eventually end. Brilliant.Jonny Lee Miller
See also the novella Melody James.