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In the fog-enshrouded city of Salthead, metaphysics professor Titus Tiggs and Dr. Daniel Dampe investigate a series of strange, impossible sightings-from phantom ships and ghosts to creatures long extinct. What they uncover is an ancient, mystical evil intent on destroying every person in the town.
Written in a style reminiscent of 19th century authors like Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy, with tantalizing elements of science fiction and dark fantasy, Jeffrey E. Barlough's Dark Sleeper draws the reader into a complicated plot featuring dozens of fascinating characters and culminating in a surprising and unforgettable climax.
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Jeffrey E. Barlough is a trained biologist and veterinarian with a Ph.D. in Virology from Cornell, and has published over 60 research and review articles in scientific journals since 1979. He is also an armchair historian and has edited small press publications of minor and archaic English works. Dark Sleeper is his first novel from a mainstream publisher.From Publishers Weekly:
Opening newcomer Barlough's Western Lights Series, this captivating neo-Victorian excursion set in the cozy world of Salthead, which separated decades earlier from an alternative Europe in a cataclysmic sundering, pits quasi-Holmesian sleuth Prof. Titus Vespasianus Tiggs against stupendous malignancies raised from the ancient pre-Roman civilization of the enigmatic Etruscans. The real joys of this richly textured novel, though, lie in Barlough's command of Victorian idiom and his rollicking flair for breathing life into endearingly eccentric characters. Fog-shrouded Salthead is the trading hub of a countryside in which mastodon caravans carry freight over mountain passes where highwaymen and saber cats prowl. Suddenly, strange apparitions appearDthe headless ghost of a drowned sailor, a spectral ship that glides unmanned to the quay, a mastiff abused by town miser Josiah Tusk that becomes ominously both more and less than human. As Tiggs and his doughty sidekick Dr. Dampe launch their investigation of these disruptions of Salthead life, they encounter the shadowy figures of three Etruscan mages, gifted with an immortality that they have come to loathe almost as much as they hate one another. Before resolving this unusually well-conceived battle of good vs. evil, Barlough presents a fascinating spectrum of characters. They range from Tiggs's cherished little niece, Fiona, and her pragmatic cat, Mr. Pumpkin Pie, to the shady agent, Samson Icks, and his thug, Cast-Iron Billy;from the glorious mastodon the Kingmaker and his docile mate, Betty, to vile lawyer Jasper Winch. Avoiding sentimentality with doses of gritty wit, Barlough keeps this close-knit narrative hurtling from one cliffhanger to another, offering a splendid entertainment for Anglophile mystery-cum-fantasy fans.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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