The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
After his former partner tries to commit suicide and then disappears, Sir Richard Francis Burton receives an amazing position as a detective for the government. His first job is to investigate the legendary Spring Heeled Jack, with whom Burton had a recent run-in, and to investigate sightings of what seem to be werewolves in London. Poet and thrill-seeker Algernon Swinburne joins Burton in his investigation, which leads them to the heart of a dark and vast conspiracy.
The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack is first in a creative steampunk series. Set in an alternate London in 1841, steam technology is more advanced than it should be and eugenicists have altered animals to make them more useful to society. Humorous altered biology and technology add a fun and light-hearted element to an otherwise dark and sometimes ominous setting.
While it took a few chapters for me to really get into the story, once I was there I was hooked. There’s a mash-up of several genres, woven together in a complex and surprising way. With colorful and eccentric characters, an engaging plot, and creative technology, steampunk fans won’t want to miss this. This is an impressive debut – full of mystery, adventure, danger and suspense.