Synopsis: In 1893, a trail of ashen footprints leads Deputy Archie Lean to the body of a murdered thief. The man’s exposed flesh has been horribly burned and occult symbols mark the nearby walls. Most troubling of all is what Lean witnessed two days earlier: this same man being lowered into his grave without a burn mark on him. Once again, the Portland, Maine, police deputy must turn to the brilliant criminalist Perceval Grey for help.
Grey, a half-Abenaki Indian detective, faces problems of his own after agreeing to an elderly tycoon’s death-bed plea to find his long-lost granddaughter. The dying man’s family is less interested in the missing heiress than with the recent theft of an obscure heirloom carved with curious symbols. As the family’s shadowy history is revealed, the three mysteries intersect to draw Lean and Grey into a maze of murder, deceit, and revenge. Each deadly new clue points toward an even greater puzzle—one that will pit Grey against a devious murderer in a race to unlock an ancient and mysterious power
I was interested in this book as it the story is set in the Victorian period. Also there is the mystery itself with elements of occult and alchemy to it. Deputy Lean and Grey’s relationship is very similar to that of Holmes and Watson but they do have their distinct characteristics.
This is the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first one, The Truth of All Things. There are a lot of references to this first book and I felt I was missing out on some basic relationship between the characters. I think if I had read the first book I would have related more to this one. I still enjoyed the book even when I felt a bit lost.
The pacing of the book was uneven, sometimes it dragged, a sub plot was stretched out and at times it was fast paced, I had to read out again to make sense. It was still an enjoyable read with the elements of greek alphabet research, history, murder, Victorian era all put together.