I read Nathaniel Wolfe and the Bodysnatchers by Brian Keaney without reading the previous Nathaniel Wolfe book (The Haunting of Nathaniel Wolfe) but that really doesn’t impact this book at all as it tells you all you need to know and only references the previous book when it really needs to for information or character purposes.
Nathaniel Wolfe lives in Victorian England, he grew up on the grimy, grubby and violent streets of London and now he is called back there.
Nathaniel can communicate with the dead – the ghosts there of that is – and a gentleman needs his help for he is being haunted by the ghost of a man and is terrified. At first Nath refuses to help – for his Grandfather is recovering from being shot and will not leave his side but soon the ghost visits both Nath and his Grandfather – clearly desperate for some help in the land of the living.
And so Nath sets off to London, meeting up with characters from the previous book (all is explained). Slowly tries to figure out who the ghost is and what he is so desperate to try and communicate.
Of course it’s not that simple – his journey takes him to some of the most dangerous places in London – the makeshift home for the sick and dying poor, opium dens and to places of his childhood he’s rather forget. Nethertheless, there is much more going on than he first thought and it’s not long before the real nastiness of the whole affair reveals itself.
I did enjoy reading this book but it’s not such a page turner as it lacks any serious twists. The characters are likeable but not very deep. The setting is much left to your imagination and own knowledge of Victorian London.
However there has been a lot of research been put into the character of London at the time – the opium dens, the disease, the violence and the rife bodysnatching – this is really it’s best feature as it’s educational and really opens up the plots intensity.
An enjoyable read – young readers would enjoy it but a lacking a lot for older readers.