Ad – review. I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes and all thoughts are my own.

Last year I took part in the book tour for Sam Hurcom's debut novel A Shadow on the lens which i really enjoyed. Now Sam's back with his second book Letters From The Dead which is a standalone  but follows the same protagonist, Thomas Bexley, who is one of the world’s first forensic photographers. This is a stifling and atmospheric gothic crime novel set in the early 20th century.


The year is 1905. After a turbulent year, Thomas Bexley has become a drunkard and recluse, haunted by terrible visions of the dead. But when news of a spate of extraordinary kidnappings reaches him, he’s shocked to learn that his dear friend and former mentor, Professor Elijah Hawthorn, is the lead suspect.


Discovering a plea for help from Hawthorn claiming to have unearthed a gruesome conspiracy at the heart of the Met Police, Thomas embarks on a journey to prove Hawthorn's innocence.


But wherever Thomas goes, he is followed by the dead, and as the mystery of Hawthorn's disappearance deepens, so too does Thomas's apparent insanity... How can he be certain of the truth when he can't trust anybody around him, not even himself...?


Letters from the dead is a very gripping, dark and atmospheric read. I enjoyed the character Thomas Bexley who is smart but flawed in an authentic way. I like that due to him being addicted to alcohol, suffers from memory loss and has visions that he can be an unreliable narrator and at parts felt like he was the guilty party. Sam has done it again with a brilliant second novel. Although it works as a stand alone I feel reading his first book Shadow on the lens is a good idea as it gives you the background surrounding Thomas Bexley and why he has turned out the way he is.

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