Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey Series)

Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey Series)

by Diana Gabaldon

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“Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits . . . [Diana] Gabaldon’s strengths are on full display.”—Kirkus Reviews

Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated Outlander series, delivers three mesmerizing tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey.

In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentleman’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet with him in private. It is an impulse that will lead Lord John into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society.

In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by a lethal creature that appears at night. Called to investigate, Lord John soon realizes that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart.

In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the baffling case of an exploding battlefield cannon that ultimately forces him to confront his own ghosts—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty’s armed forces.

“Gabaldon brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440337294
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/27/2007
Series: Lord John Grey Series , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 39,554
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—as well as a collection of Outlander fiction, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall; the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; two works of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, Volumes 1 and 2; the Outlander graphic novel, The Exile; and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.


Flagstaff, Arizona

Date of Birth:

January 11, 1952

Place of Birth:

Flagstaff, Arizona


B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1973; M.S., Scripps Oceanographic Institute; Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1979

Read an Excerpt

Part I A Red-Haired ManLondon, 1756 The Society for Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, a gentleman’s club Lord John Grey jerked his eyes away from the door. No. No, he mustn’t turn and stare. Needing some other focus for his gaze, he fixed his eyes instead on Quarry’s scar.“A glass with you, sir?” Scarcely waiting for the club’s steward to provide for his companion, Harry Quarry drained his cup of claret, then held it out for more. “And another, perhaps, in honor of your return from frozen exile?” Quarry grinned broadly, the scar pulling down the corner of his eye in a lewd wink as he did so, and lifted up his glass again.Lord John tilted his own cup in acceptance of the salute, but barely tasted the contents. With an effort, he kept his eyes on Quarry’s face, willing himself not to turn and stare, not to gawk after the flash of fire in the corridor that had caught his eye.Quarry’s scar had faded; tightened and shrunk to a thin white slash, its nature made plain only by its position, angled hard across the ruddy cheek. It might otherwise have lost itself among the lines of hard living, but instead remained visible, the badge of honor that its owner so plainly considered it.“You are exceeding kind to note my return, sir,” Grey said. His heart hammered in his ears, muffling Quarry’s words—no great loss to conversation.It is not, his sensible mind pointed out, it cannot be. Yet sense had nothing to do with the riot of his sensibilities, that surge of feeling that seized him by nape and buttocks, as though it would pluck him up and turn him forcibly to go in pursuit of the red-haired man he had so briefly glimpsed.Quarry’s elbow nudged him rudely, a not-unwelcome recall to present circumstances.“. . . among the ladies, eh?”“Eh?”“I say your return has been noted elsewhere, too. My sister-in-law bid me send her regard and discover your present lodgings. Do you stay with the regiment?”“No, I am at present at my mother’s house, in Jermyn Street.” Finding his cup still full, Grey raised it and drank deep. The Beefsteak’s claret was of excellent vintage, but he scarcely noticed its bouquet. There were voices in the hall outside, raised in altercation.“Ah. I’ll inform her, then; expect an invitation by the morn- ing post. Lucinda has her eye upon you for a cousin of hers, I daresay—she has a flock of poor but well-favored female relations, whom she means to shepherd to good marriages.” Quarry’s teeth showed briefly. “Be warned.”Grey nodded politely. He was accustomed to such overtures. The youngest of four brothers, he had no hopes of a title, but the family name was ancient and honorable, his person and countenance not without appeal—and he had no need of an heiress, his own means being ample.The door flung open, sending such a draft across the room as made the fire in the hearth roar up like the flames of Hades, scattering sparks across the Turkey carpet. Grey gave thanks for the burst of heat; it gave excuse for the color that he felt suffuse his cheeks.Nothing like. Of course he is nothing like. Who could be? And yet the emotion that filled his breast was as much disappointment as relief.The man was tall, yes, but not strikingly so. Slight of build, almost delicate. And young, younger than Grey, he judged. But the hair—yes, the hair was very like.Lord John Grey.” Quarry had intercepted the young man, a hand on his sleeve, turning him for introduction. “Allow me to acquaint you with my cousin by marriage, Mr. Robert Gerald.”Mr. Gerald nodded shortly, then seemed to take hold of himself. Suppressing whatever it was that had caused the blood to rise under his fair skin, he bowed, then fixed his gaze on Grey in cordial acknowledgment.“Your servant, sir.”“And yours.” Not copper, not carrot; a deep red, almost rufous, with glints and streaks of cinnabar and gold. The eyes were not blue—thank God!—but rather a soft and luminous brown.Grey’s mouth had gone dry. To his relief, Quarry offered refreshment, and upon Gerald’s agreement, snapped his fingers for the steward and steered the three of them to an armchaired corner, where the haze of tobacco smoke hung like a sheltering curtain over the less-convivial members of the Beefsteak.“Who was that I heard in the corridor?” Quarry demanded, as soon as they were settled. “Bubb-Dodington, surely? The man’s a voice like a costermonger.”“I—he—yes, it was.” Mr. Gerald’s pale skin, not quite recovered from its earlier excitement, bloomed afresh, to Quarry’s evident amusement.“Oho! And what perfidious proposal has he made you, young Bob?”“Nothing. He—an invitation I did not wish to accept, that is all. Must you shout so loudly, Harry?” It was chilly at this end of the room, but Grey thought he could warm his hands at the fire of Gerald’s smooth cheeks.Quarry snorted with amusement, looking around at the nearby chairs.“Who’s to hear? Old Cotterill’s deaf as a post, and the General’s half dead. And why do you care in any case, if the matter’s so innocent as you suggest?” Quarry’s eyes swiveled to bear on his cousin by marriage, suddenly intelligent and penetrating.“I did not say it was innocent,” Gerald replied dryly, regaining his composure. “I said I declined to accept it. And that, Harry, is all you will hear of it, so desist this piercing glare you turn upon me. It may work on your subalterns, but not on me.”Grey laughed, and after a moment, Quarry joined in. He clapped Gerald on the shoulder, eyes twinkling.“My cousin is the soul of discretion, Lord John. But that’s as it should be, eh?”“I have the honor to serve as junior secretary to the prime minister,” Gerald explained, seeing incomprehension on Grey’s features. “While the secrets of government are dull indeed, at least by Harry’s standards”—he shot his cousin a malicious grin—“they are not mine to share.”“Oh, well, of no interest to Lord John in any case,” Quarry said philosophically, tossing back his third glass of aged claret with a disrespectful haste more suited to porter. Grey saw the senior steward close his eyes in quiet horror at the act of desecration, and smiled to himself—or so he thought, until he caught Mr. Gerald’s soft brown eyes upon him, a matching smile of complicity upon his lips.“Such things are of little interest to anyone save those most intimately concerned,” Gerald said, still smiling at Grey. “The fiercest battles fought are those where very little lies at stake, you know. But what interests you, Lord John, if politics does not?”“Not lack of interest,” Grey responded, holding Robert Gerald’s eyes boldly with his. No, not lack of interest at all. “Ignorance, rather. I have been absent from London for some time; in fact, I have quite lost . . . touch.”Without intent, one hand closed upon his glass, the thumb drawing slowly upward, stroking the smooth, cool surface as though it were another’s flesh. Hastily, he set the glass down, seeing as he did so the flash of blue from the sapphire ring he wore. It might have been a lighthouse beacon, he reflected wryly, warning of rough seas ahead.And yet the conversation sailed smoothly on, despite Quarry’s jocular inquisitions regarding Grey’s most recent posting in the wilds of Scotland and his speculations as to his brother officer’s future prospects. As the former was terra prohibita and the latter terra incognita, Grey had little to say in response, and the talk moved on to other things: horses, dogs, regimental gossip, and other such comfortable masculine fare.Yet now and again, Grey felt the brown eyes rest on him, with an expression of speculation that both modesty and caution forbade him to interpret. It was with no sense of surprise, though, that upon departure from the club, he found himself alone in the vestibule with Gerald, Quarry having been detained by an acquaintance met in passing.“I impose intolerably, sir,” Gerald said, moving close enough to keep his low-voiced words from the ears of the servant who kept the door. “I would ask your favor, though, if it be not entirely unwelcome?”“I am completely at your command, I do assure you,” Grey said, feeling the warmth of claret in his blood succeeded by a rush of deeper heat.“I wish—that is, I am in some doubt regarding a circumstance of which I have become aware. Since you are so recently come to London—that is, you have the advantage of perspective, which I must necessarily lack by reason of familiarity. There is no one . . .” He fumbled for words, then turned eyes grown suddenly and deeply unhappy on Lord John. “I can confide in no one!” he said, in a sudden, passionate whisper. He gripped Lord John’s arm, with surprising strength. “It may be nothing, nothing at all. But I must have help.”“You shall have it, if it be in my power to give.” Grey’s fingers touched the hand that grasped his arm; Gerald’s fingers were cold. Quarry’s voice echoed down the corridor behind them, loud with joviality.“The ’Change, near the Arcade,” Gerald said rapidly. “Tonight, just after full dark.” The grip on Grey’s arm was gone, and Gerald vanished, the soft fall of his hair vivid against his blue cloak.Grey’s afternoon was spent in necessary errands to tailors and solicitors, then in making courtesy calls upon long-neglected acquaintance, in an effort to fill the empty hours that loomed before dark. Quarry, at loose ends, had volunteered to accompany him, and Lord John had made no demur. Bluff and jovial by temper, Quarry’s conversation was limited to cards, drink, and whores. He and Grey had little in common, save the regiment. And Ardsmuir.

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Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Gina_Wichita More than 1 year ago
Diana Gabaldon's newest "Lord John" book is totally out of the ordinary for her writings: a) It is an anthology of three short stories or novellas. b) Each has a haunting story line. The protagonist in each story is Lord John, but he plays avery different role in the first than the second and third stories. Gabaldon remains true to her accuracy in historic clubs and/or myths current in that time frame. The First "Hellfire Club" is a Black Mass parody on the Roman Catholic Mass. It is rich in blood and gore, with Lord John wondering if he will escape alive. The second and third are based on German "ghost" myths, in which he contends with the superstitions of the local folk, before coming up with very creative solutions for the various dilemnas. If you enjoy this type of suspense, you will be entranced by her interpretation and solutions. It's a "good read". Gina_Wichita
uruguayan-reader More than 1 year ago
I have only recently discovered Diana Gabaldon Outlander series and have become a real fan of her. I have always loved historical novels but her books are so much more that you just can't put them away. And I am enjoying re-reading them too while I wait for the next one. Being Lord John Grey a secondary character in the Outlander series, I was not particularly interested in him at first. But Ms. Gabaldon latest book - the Scottish Prisoner - featuring Lord John and James Fraser was highly enjoyable, so I decided to buy Lord John Grey series, and loved them too. Really great reading!
Manginor More than 1 year ago
When you would rather read Diana Gabaldons stories as apposed to working, playing or spending time with other people, you know you have found a good writer. I can't seem to put the books down and I'm now re-reading the first 7, waiting for the next book. Amazing writing and story telling.
chixenbaugh More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy reading the Lord John Series as I wait for the new Outlander Series books. These books give you little snippets of Jamie as well! Lord John is a great character.
Cnedran More than 1 year ago
Fast paced with lots of twists and turns that will surprise most of you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Ms. Gabaldon will continue with this series of Lord John's life, there is so much left to be "uncovered".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book - I love all of Diana Gabaldons works - they just don't come fast enough!
harstan More than 1 year ago
¿Lord John and the Hellfire Club¿. Lord John Grey is asked by Robert Gerald, the junior setetary of the prime minister, for help with a problem. He agrees seeing how upset Gerald is but later that day Robert is killed. The last word he spoke is Dashwood. That night he attends a Hellfire club invitation, not knowing that he is to be the murderer¿s second victim.---------- ¿Lord John and the Succubus¿. Rumors move swiftly through the troops that a succubus is on the loose. Lord John is persuaded to use his white horse to find the grave where the succubus inhabits a dead body. The horse moves to the grave of the man¿s mother who made the accusation. They also find the body of a dead English solder in the cemetery. The allies are nervous about the rumors, but John believes that someone secular has spread them and he plans to expose them before the upcoming battle in the long drawn out world war (1756-1763).------------ ¿Lord John and the Haunted Soldier¿. After being injured by a cannon that blew up during battle, Lord John answers his superior¿s inquiry re the incident. John later learns eight more guns blew up that the military wants kept quiet and he would make a good scapegoat. He needs evidence to prove he wasn¿t negligent help comes from an unexpected source. These three novella give insight into the character of Lord John Grey, an honorable man who has to hide his homosexual preference from the world since it is a crime punishable by death. He always chooses the most ethical cause of action even when silence would better serve him. Diana Gabaldon has written an exciting anthology of an eighteenth century solder at war in which don¿t tell means avoiding ¿friendly¿ fire.------------------ Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
as all her books it was great any one who likes history, advenure, love stories and just great wrighting would like this book
nutmegrose More than 1 year ago
This was a really good novella to learn more about Lord John's life. A definite read if you are an Outlander fan to get into the lives of the characters more in depth.I love seeing the logical side of Lord John being developed and it opens up the world that Jamie enters and gives more understanding to the time period.
copperkid on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoy Diana Gabaldon's writing, her detailed poetic flow of scenes and the thoughts of her characters, and in this case specifically Lord John, candidly revealing the aspects of his gayness. My favorite in this small book of short stories was The Haunted Soldier, lots of good sleuthing with the help of his talented and likeable valet Tom...reminded me a bit of Sherlock and Dr. Watson. As in the Outlander series, there are lots of openings for continuing to explore the lives of her characters and their relations.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Individual Summaries and Reviews: Lord John and the Hand of Devils is a collection of short stories (really one regular length story and two longer novellas) that are interspersed between the full-length Lord John novels."Lord John and the Hellfire Club" is the shortest work in the bunch, and chronologically occurs before the Lord John and the Private Matter. In it, Lord John, freshly returned from Scotland, meets a young man who says that he urgently needs his help - but who is then murdered in a crowded street before he can explain himself. Lord John becomes involved with a secret society with some dark rituals before he can unravel what's going on. I thought it was too quick to be really satisfying, and that if it had been in a longer format, the ending could have been milked for a lot more. "Lord John and the Succubus" takes place between Lord John and the Private Matter and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. Quartered in Germany during the Seven Years' War, Lord John is confronted with two soldiers, both dead by impossible means, and a persistent rumor that the town is being haunted by a succubus. I liked this one a lot, as Gabaldon had more time to develop the mystery as well as fit in some character moments, and a few nicely creepy parts. However, I don't know much about the Seven Years' War, and I had a difficult time keeping track of the regiments and commanders and troop movements, especially since I was lacking a map of the relevant area. Also, by this time, I was beginning to think that Gabaldon was purposefully going to keep poor Lord John from ever getting any lovin', using more and more outlandish coincidences. (This was of course disproven in Brotherhood of the Blade, but I didn't know it yet."Lord John and the Haunted Soldier" takes place shortly after the events at the end of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, and concerns them directly. Lord John is summoned to appear before a military tribunal to be questioned about his part in the Battle of Crefield... only the tribunal appears to be more interested in the explosion of the gun Lord John was commanding than in the death of the gun's former commander, even going so far as to implicate Lord John's half-brother in the deliberate production of faulty powder. Lord John must then attempt to clear his family name while attempting to do what he can for the family of the soldier whose death hangs on his conscience. This was my favorite of the bunch; it had several well-developed little mini-mysteries, one military and one personal, that fit together neatly and kept me intrigued and emotionally involved right to the end.Overall Review and Recommendation: I don't know how essential these stories are to the understanding of the full-length Lord John books; Gabaldon occasionally introduces characters or events in the short stories that reappear in the books, but I think she does a fine job re-explaining them in the novels. I'm mostly basing that on my experience reading Lord John and the Private Matter, which contains a lot of callbacks to "Lord John and the Hellfire Club", but was perfectly understandable, even though I read them out of order. On the flip side, I think that the stories also stand mostly independent of the books... at least the first two, although "Haunted Soldier" somewhat less. Overall, I'd say they're not required reading, and I wouldn't recommend starting with them, but for fans of the Lord John novels, the stories should be just as enjoyable. 4 out of 5 stars.
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lord John and the Hands of Devils is a collection that contains three Lord John mysteries... one simply called a short story and the other two meriting the designation "novella" from the author. Prior to starting the Lord John novels, I should have done a bit of research, as the first of these stories comes before the first novel in chronological order... similarly, the second story comes before the second novel and then the third story finishes things up. Reading them out of order doesn't necessarily harm you, but I wish that I had somehow contrived to figure out the chronological order as it would have filled in some details within the larger books that get more attention in the stories (who kills someone in the Abbey, why suddenly the Prussian guy is pining for John, etc.). It's a quick read, but really only worth it to those who enjoy Gabaldon's other work and, in particular, Lord John."Lord John and the Hellfire Club" is the first and shortest of the bunch -- though it is to this story that we are indebted for all of the Lord John spin-off works, as it was this story that launched him as an independent protagonist. Lord John comes across the historically famous/infamous Hellfire Club at Medmenham Abbey as he investigates the death of a young man, a cousin of John's friend Harry Quarry. Immediately returned from his exile in Scotland and still burning with desire for Jamie Fraser, John is implored by Harry Quarry's (gay) cousin for assistance in a certain matter, but before John can meet him to discuss the matter, the young man is killed. John is then courted by the elite club, which includes an ex-lover of his among the members, but he's quite right to believe that there are many things amiss with the Hellfire Club. Very short and simple, this mystery solves itself quite quickly, but one must at least appreciate this story for spurring Gabaldon to write other Lord John tales.In "Lord John and the Succubus," Lord John is stationed in Gundwitz with a companies of Prussian and English troops as they attempt to rout some French and Austrians, but the men seem more frightened by rumors of a demon spirit in the area. Of course, Lord John is smart enough to see mortal hands behind these actions... though it might take some real magic if he wants to keep out of a widowed Princess's matrimonial designs and get a moment alone to find out if his friendship with handsome German soldier Namtzen is just brotherly love or a bit more. The mystery isn't much of a mystery, but there are some amusing scenes of suspense and the standard fear that men have about their manhood and essence being stolen.For "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," you certainly need to have read Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade to understand everything well -- because the story largely concerns the battle of Crefield, which closed out that novel. Lord John is summoned before a military commission that is concerned with the explosion of the gun he had commanded and the death of a lieutenant, floating the veiled accusation that it might have been Lord John's inept leadership that led to it. The military seems more concerned about the gun, which leaves John to try and see what right he can do by the family of the lieutenant and the man's missing widow. Lord John also investigates some leads on what caused the gun's explosion and finds a few problems, including the faulty construction of guns due to someone inside the military stealing copper and the potentially volatile ammunition provided by John's half-brother's company. In the author's notes before each story, Gabaldon makes jokes about the fact that by the time she's hit the page count for a Lord John novel, she generally feels like she's just starting up the story, so real short stories and novellas were quite the challenge indeed. Her real talent lies in creating wonderful characters and taking them through epic stories, so while individual stories might not be ideal as short
Mary6508 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Diana Gabaldon's writing, and came across Lord John in her Outlander series. He is quite a likeable character, but I'm not sure she's able to take his stand-alone stories as far as she does in the Outlander stories. I liked it anyway, and will always buy whatever Diana writes.
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gabaldon's writing is of the kind I call "serviceable" but her characters either make you swoon, pant, sweat and holler, or they leave you completely cold. I fall on the non-hollerin' end of category A. I like these people, Lord John especially having a claim on me because he's a shirt-lifter (or Warmbruder, depending on where we are geographically). This book is a collection of three novellas that Gabaldon wrote about the good Major Lord John Grey. One was written for this collection. Does it matter what they're about? Lord John, in peace or at war, will never suffer a wrong he can right to go unrighted; he will never allow personal comfort or convenience to stand in the way of what duty and honor require him to do; and he will never fall out of love with Jamie Fraser, featured in Gabaldon's main time travel romance series as the husband of the time traveler. So he don't get none. Relax, ewww-ickers.Anyway, in a marketplace crowded with mystery choices, and quite a fair few eighteenth-century historicals at that, why choose these books with their serviceable writing? Bruce Alexander, for one example, is a better writer. His Blind Justice series is very good.Simple: Depth. Lord John Grey is part of a well-known alternate world. It's obvious that Gabaldon could act as a tour guide to eighteenth-century England and Scotland, and it's obvious that SOMEwhere in a properly ordered Creation, Jamie and Claire and Lord John are plying their different courses through the time streams. The reason to read this series starts and stops with an individual's familiarity with or receptivity to Gabaldon's world. If you've read Dragonfly in Amber and did not find it so tedious and plodding as to make you beg a merciful Goddess for death or blindness, you're likely to enjoy these books.Recommended? Oh, sure. Why not. Start with these novellas and see if the character appeals; if so, the novels await your pleasure.
kingsportlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three tales of war, intelligence & espionage with a 18th century storyline. Tales have definite thread of homosexuality and masturbation. Not my bedtime reading. Author delivers human drama and moves the tales along. If she wrote about other facts of life, I might read her!
Raven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a collection: one short story, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, and two novellas, Lord John and the Succubus and ...Haunted Soldier. Hellfire Club is slight, a a 20-page short story that is more an idea than an actual story; it's the two novellas that form the meat of the book. Succubus is silly, engaging fun: Grey is in Prussia with the estimable Stephan van Namtzen, aristocrat, soldier and gentleman, and Grey is not at all in love with him. They're solving a mystery of a succubus, or night-hag, a demon who's killing soldiers and... er.... draining their essence, and it's silly and doesn't quite hang together as a plot, but as usual, is redeemed by Grey and van Namtzen and their surrounding cast, who are their usual funny, delightful selves. Haunted Soldier is something different again. It's notable firstly because, as a story in itself, it really doesn't work, but acquires depth and meaning when taken as a sequel to Brotherhood of the Blade, and secondly because it isn't immediately clear who the haunted soldier is. There are several candidates, but by far the most likely is Grey himself, who has returned to England after Crefeld to deal with, among other things, having had a tonne of cannon explode in his arms.Much as I complain about Galabldon's occasional romance-novel nonsenses, she really can write when she wants to, and never better than here. It's interesting that despite the fact he never acknowledges it, Grey is very obviously clinically depressed throughout this story. His usual characterisation is so crisp and clear that the author can press the metaphorical mute button on it here to great, subtle effect. It's one ot the things she's very good at, actually; everything that happens to him informs his subsequent character development, and it's clear how he changes with experience across the novels. For this reason, I don't think this book does stand alone, despite the publishers' blurb, and I wouldn't recommend it to someone who didn't know the series. Start with one of the novels.
surreality on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot: Three novellas which fit into gaps between other books in the Outlander/Lord John universe, all of them set up as mysteries. Only one really works as a mystery, while the other two very quickly turn too convoluted and the solution is not convincing. Characters: Lord John, who is portrayed with experience and with all the background from previous appearances. Side characters who have shown up in the books before fare reasonably well when it comes to author attention. New characters get very little love, and there are far too many of them. No clear showing of their motives subsequently leads to bad mystery plots. Style: Good war scenes, good action scenes. Horrid society scenes and a tendency towards stilted dialogue. It's not exactly memorable prose, but it's serviceable. Plus: The second novella, Lord John and the Succubus is quite an enjoyable read. Minus: For novellas, the stories rely far too much on the surrounding universe and on quite obscure characters from there, who don't get properly introduced. Summary: Stories which occasionally remember they are supposed to have a mystery plot, but then tend to forget when they meet new characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not as well written as the last one I read in the series. I was not excited with the ending as with Blade. I will continue reading Diana Gabaldon writings . I do enjoy the Outlander books and anticipate another. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her writing carries me away. Characters are so vivid, you feel as if you are there with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, love Lord John!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whimpered feeling helpless.
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