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The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher
  • On sale: January 1, 1970
  • Price: $
  • ISBN: 9780307406644
Contact: Nora O’Malley

Praise for The Bedlam Detective:

Masterful whodunit . . . Gallagher’s superior storytelling talents bode well for future adventures starring the well-rounded Becker.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Stephen Gallagher:

“Perhaps the finest contemporary British thriller writer.” —GQ

“Stephen Gallagher shows the occult mystery in its best light.” New York Times Book Review

“Gallagher is a master of abnormal psychology and he just gets better and better.” —Mystery Scene 

From a basement office in London’s notorious Bethlem hospital, Sebastian Becker investigates any “man of property” whose sanity is under question. In THE BEDLAM DETECTIVE (Crown Trade; Hardcover; $25.00; February 7, 2012), author Stephen Gallagher explores the world of macabre mystery and haunting psychological truths with special investigator Becker, who quickly discovers that the truth is almost always more terrifying and bizarre than it seems.

Becker, a former member of the famed Pinkerton detective agency in Philadelphia, has relocated to England in order to seek specialized care for his troubled son. In exchange for the expensive schooling that he and his wife could never afford, Becker is reluctantly indebted to the Crown as an investigator for the Lord Chancellor’s Visitors in Lunacy, a three-man committee with the power to take over the affairs of the affluent should they be deemed unfit or “mad.” One of his assignments takes him to Arnmouth, a small town in the shadow of Sir Owain Lancaster’s wealthy estate. Sir Owain was by most accounts a benevolent patriarch of the town—offering money to the poor and showing concern for all town residents—until his desire to scientifically explore far reaches of the earth took him deep into the Amazon, where his family and colleagues were brutally attacked. Owain’s book recounting their horrific adventures simply blames “monsters” as the murderers, and he claims that those monsters have followed him back to Arnmouth. Naturally, such claims have brought his sanity into question and gained the attention of Becker’s employer.

Once Becker arrives, however, he learns that this assignment is much more sinister than he had originally expected—two young girls have been found murdered on Owain’s estate, and Owain blames the same “beasts and monsters” that he encountered in the Amazon. As Becker begins to investigate, he finds that it is not the first time children have come to harm in this small town, though few are willing to speak of the incidents from the past. After reading Owain’s book Becker is convinced Owain is delusional, but now he must decide if this mad nobleman could also be a murderer, or if some even more sinister agency is at work. In order to uncover the facts Becker must employ the help of the local investigator and a young suffragette who fled Arnmouth, but couldn’t flee the horrors she encountered there. Sebastian Becker’s search for answers brings him face to face with madmen and monsters, both imagined and real. Confronting immense danger in his hunt for the truth, he will explore murder, tragedy, and the tempestuous depths of his own mind.

By turns thrilling, suspenseful, and meticulously crafted, THE BEDLAM DETECTIVE never ceases to astonish, surprise, and keep readers guessing until the very last page. Gallagher’s masterful style combines mysterious characters with an ever-twisting plot that builds to a shocking climax.

* * *

STEPHEN GALLAGHER is a novelist, screenwriter, and director. He is the author of fourteen novels, including Nightmare with Angel; The Kingdom of Bones; and Red, Red Robin. He is a British Fantasy Award and International Horror Guild Award winner, and has been a Stoker and World Fantasy Award nominee.

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