Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review: 'The Pierced Heart' by Lynn Shepherd

✰✰✰✰ After an Austrian nobleman offers a sizable donation to the University of Oxford, private investigator, Charles Maddox, is sent on a quest to vet the mysterious benefactor. Maddox soon discovers that the Viennese countryside is steeped with superstitious tales about the baron and his castle. As the days go by, disturbing dreams and incidents haunt Maddox. After nearly dying, Maddox returns to London where a series of horrific murders have taken place. The deaths are rumored to be the work of a vampire, but Maddox suspects his nemesis, the baron. With another young woman missing, Maddox must race against time to find her before another innocent dies.

The Bottom Line: This is the third book in a series; each book pays homage to a literary classic. This dark installment plays off Bram Stoker's Dracula. Although I have not read the previous books, Shepherd includes plenty of back story so the reader does not feel lost.

This book got off to a slow, smoldering start as I adjusted to the writing style. The story jumps back and forth between different points of view and times. However, the book is full of mystery and intrigue. Shepherd has braided together the elements of superstition, science, and classic literature to create a gripping suspense that I couldn't put down. With the paranormal twist and Gothic mood, this book will appeal to fans of historical fiction. A word of caution though...this tale is not for squeamish readers.

Details: The Pierced Heart: A Novel by Lynn Shepherd. Hardcover published by Delacorte Press in 2014. 256 p. ISBN: 978-0-345-54543-5 NOTE: I received a free copy from Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible via the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing. 

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