This story begins on an unnamed island in an unnamed part of the world, where the heroine, Amity Doncaster, discovers the hero, Benedict Stanbridge, injured in an alleyway and capably delivers him back to his bunk aboard the Northern Star. There she sets about nursing him as they sail for New York. By Chapter Three, we are back in Victorian London, where Amity is kidnapped and threatened with a gruesome end. It won’t come as a surprise if I say that she escapes the serial killer known as The Bridegroom and lives to fight another day. The rest of the story details her attempts to find and bring the man who threatened her to justice. She is helped by Stanbridge, who has been on a mission of his own concerning solar engines and Russian spies, which adds a confusing element to the tortuous plot. Initially I found the hectic pace engaging, even though it seemed a tad disjointed as new people and places were brought to my attention.
I have read Amanda Quick before and find her writing style a pleasure. That still holds, but this time there was repetition, particularly on the social standing of characters, that should have been edited out. I also found that the plot took so many twists and turns that it succeeded, in the end, in confusing me. I shall need to do a re-read to make things clear to my own satisfaction. If I’m honest, by two thirds of the way through the book, I grew weary of the frenetic pace and wanted things to slow down or come to a conclusion. That does not mean it is a poor book; but if you decide to read it, be prepared to concentrate, perhaps take notes or just let it all flow over your head.