Victorian mystery: Sebastian Becker is an ex-Pinkerton who moved with his family (wife, sister-in-law, son) back to England after quitting Pinkertonning. He works for the British government investigating claims of lunacy in wealthy landowners who may not be capable of managing their own affairs. During the course of one of his investigations he encounters the murder of two young girls, which fit into a pattern of attacks and disappearances over years in their village. The wealthy landowner in question claims fantastic beasts attacked them, and Becker seeks the truth.
Verdict: okay until (spoiler: rot13) Orpxre'f jvsr trgf sevqtrq sbe ab ernfba bgure guna gb tvir uvz zber znacnva. Znacnva juvpu svaqf n erfbyhgvba gbb dhvpxyl: juvyr vg'f zbaguf va gur punenpgre'f yvsr, vg'f nobhg 20% bs gur obbx va gur ernqre'f grezf, fb vg frrzf nyzbfg vafgnagnarbhf gung ur jbexf vg bhg. Not sure why the author thought it was necessary: Becker's past, in which he witnessed an execution-style killing of an innocent man and didn't say anything because he didn't want to break cover, offered plenty of manpain for the character to angst over. He didn't need more.
I liked the portrayal of his son, who in modern terms would be somewhere on the autism spectrum: unable to function very well when it comes to normal social niceties, but with great powers of focus on the things that catch his interest. So his parents worry that he won't be able to work, and aren't really sure what's going on with him, and love him as best they can.
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