The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



Madmen see monsters – and monsters hide in plain sight
From a basement office in London’s notorious Bethlehem Hospital, Sebastian Becker investigates wealthy eccentrics whose dubious mental health may render them unable to manage their own affairs. His interview with rich landowner Sir Owain Lancaster, whose sanity has been in question since a disastrous scientific adventure in the Amazon killed his family and colleagues, coincides with the disappearance of two young local girls. When the children are found slain, Lancaster claims that the same dark forces that devastated his family have followed him home. It is not the first time that children have come to harm in his rural countryside town, though few are willing to speak of incidents from the past. Becker must determine whether this mad nobleman is insane and a murderer, or if some even more sinister agency is at work.
   Struggling on his small salary, and with unexpected help from a son who needs special care, Becker and his wife make sacrifices so Becker can stay on the case after an innocent man is convicted of the crime. The answers he seeks may be found with the assistance of the local investigator and a young suffragette who fled Arnmouth, but couldn’t flee the horrors she encountered there. 
   From dank asylums to the lush and treacherous Amazon, through the makeshift studios of the early film industry and a traveling fair of freaks and illusions, 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. 

From the Hardcover edition.

About Stephen Gallagher

See more books from this Author
STEPHEN GALLAGHER is a novelist, screenwriter, and director, 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 a Stoker and World Fantasy Award nominee.
Published February 7, 2012 by Crown. 322 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Bedlam Detective

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Gallagher has been called a horror writer, a fantasy writer, a non-fantasy writer, a writer for big screens and smaller ones, a writer whose considerable talent has enabled him to slip in and out of genres precisely as if those tidy little boxes didn’t exist—as indeed they don’t for his character...

Mar 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Bedlam Detective: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Set in England in 1912, this masterful whodunit from Gallagher (Red, Red Robin) introduces Sebastian Becker, a former policeman and Pinkerton agent who now works as the special investigator to the Masters of Lunacy, looking into cases involving any “man of property” whose sanity is under ques...

Dec 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Bedlam Detective: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

For Sir Owain, Page creates a voice that sounds older, but remains vital and confident, leaving the character's mental state—which plays a key part in Becker's unraveling of the tightly knit whodunit—ambiguous for a good portion of the novel.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Bedlam Detective: A Novel

City Book Review

But when two young girls are found dead on Sir Owain’s property, Sebastian must suss out the truth behind both the murders and the events in the Amazon, delving deep into a man’s troubled psyche and a small town’s dark mysteries.

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Bedlam Detective: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

As Becker’s son (autistically brilliant before one could be categorized as such) tells Becker upon analyzing Lancaster’s book: “It’s not a matter of where truth ends and fantasy begins…you should have said where fact ends and fantasy begins.” For truth, like madness, is a matter of perception, an...

| Read Full Review of The Bedlam Detective: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Bedlam Detective

An aggregated and normalized score based on 82 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review