Where the Dead Lie
Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery #12
By C.S. Harris
ISBN # 9780451471192
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
The gruesome murder of a young boy takes Sebastian St. Cyr from the gritty streets of London to the glittering pleasure haunts of the aristocracy . . .
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is no stranger to the dark side of the city, but he’s never seen anything like this: the brutalized body of a fifteen-year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory.
One of London’s many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin’s fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished.
Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city’s most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: someone from society’s upper echelon is preying upon the city’s most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm ….(Goodreads)
From the very first sentence author C.S. Harris captivates readers, leading them into the seedy, divided world of Regency Era London. Where the Dead Lie, as the twelfth book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, is the best book to date.
This installment picks up shortly after the last book, When Falcons Fall, ends. At a time when Sebastian continues to learn about and come to terms with his lineage and deal with his not-so-pleasant family, he and his wife Hero have settled into a solid relationship. Sebastian has gained a reputation for solving murders that the authorities will not or cannot unravel, so he is not surprised to be called to look into the death of a fifteen year old street urchin named Benji. The obvious torture that the child endured, along with the horrific manner of death, hits Sebastian, as a new father, hard. Time seems to be of the essence because Benji’s younger sister is missing. Upon discovering a pattern of street children gone missing, Sebastian traverses both the darker alleys of London and the glittering world of the ton.
Where the Dead Lie explores the darker inclinations of man. I will not lie, the treatment of these “disposable” children is hard to read about, and though Harris does not describe the crimes in graphic detail, there is enough information to be quite unsettling. The plight of the poor, orphaned, and street children of the early nineteenth century is heartbreaking and unfathomable. Sebastian’s short list of suspects is comprised of both aristocrats, including his niece’s fiancé and the Prince Regent’s cousin, and the lower class, all of whom have taken the writings of Marquis de Sade (the original sadist) to heart. Truthfully, they all make my skin crawl.
C.S. Harris really is a master of storytelling. Each book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series is a tense, tightly plotted and atmospherically executed read. Full of period correct detail and fascinating, complex characters, there is never a dull moment or wasted word. I highly recommend Where the Dead Lie to fans of historical mysteries, thrillers, and to readers who appreciated fine artistry. This is definitely one of my best reads of the year.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*