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About the surgeon








"Gothic Splendour amidst the underbelly of Victorian England" 

Victorian England, 1850.


Meet Bob and Verity Charleston, funeral parlour owners, Lord and Lady of the Manor, and killer entrepreneurs, literally. They've got it all, the gothic mansion, the odd slave or two, a psychotic butler, and a young daughter whose only aspiration is to follow in mum and dad's blood curdling footsteps.
Life's one big, kick ass opportunity in Victorian London when you know how to prey on the greedy, the prideful and the staggeringly ignorant. The Charleston's have got it down. And when you’ve a purpose built operating theatre in the west wing you might as well use it.

Then there's Letty Sturrock, a Whitechapel prostitute who happens to be a bit miffed that her estranged parents have not only vanished, but have bequeathed their entire business and livelihood to a skeletal nutcase going by the name of Skertal Pearl.
But good fortune smiles on those who make their living in rancid whorehouses, that is if you count the arrival of a professional waster as being something positive in your life.

Which brings us to Algernon Reibaker, who collapses drunkenly in front of Letty before he even manages to unbutton his trousers. When he wakes he promptly loses a rather unfortunate bet - one that finds him agreeing to solve the mysterious disappearance of Letty’s parents.

Together, Letty and Algernon embark on an adventure that leads them inside the dark, menacing underbelly hidden beneath the grandiose wonder of England's Industrial Revolution.
It isn't long before they begin to uncover the secrets of the violently twisted Charleston's, a family who will stop at nothing in their quest for wealth and power.
Meddling in their affairs is the gravest mistake of all.
The story behind the surgeon.

The Surgeon is dark, gothic and brutal, but it is also several love stories intertwined. It is a depiction of man at his most animalistic, with villainous protagonists who are servants to their senses as much they are inevitable examples of Nietzschean theory on how one human's succes invariably culminates in another's demise.

When a story such as this is played out to the backdrop of Victorian England, as the writer, the canvas was as much a guilty pleasure as it was morality play.

An unrelenting pursuit of something can often be found in those who have at first struggled to attain what they seek or have suffered greatly in their youth. In some men, this adversity carves chiselled determination and an iron will. But a fractured psyche often comes with a dark side.

Mr Charleston's childhood was one so horrendous that not only did it breed a ferociously strong willed, unrelenting man, it also created a monster, one whose wounds continue to bleed deep inside his soul. His sense of purpose and his understanding of pleasure become blurred, and a brute of a man is the result.

But he remains capable of love, and his adoration for the manipulative, highly capable Verity Charelston is beautiful in its own right. He is fiercely protective of his family, and loves his daughter deeply. His friendship with Skertal Pearl and their teamwork in attacking their rival gang bosses, shows both his courage and his skill.

The love story that is beginning to blossom between young Matilda Charleston and Rearden Pearl promises to unite the families further. Their personal aspirations as a young couple are indicative of quite how influencial parents can be in the life journey of their children.

Algernon Reibaker has fallen on hard times, and with little seemingly to live for he feels no remorse for his alcholism and the self abuse he perpetuates upon himself. But he is talented and intelligent, and it is his good fortune (unwitting but nevertheless!) that he chances upon a young prostitute who not only needs his capability, but quickly realises the rough diamond that has entered her life.

Letty Sturrock is a tenacious, working class woman who has seen her share of hard times but hasn't let it break her. Indeed, she shows an admirable positivity despite all she has had to endure and undertake, something that Algernon finds deeply endearing. She is also a unique beauty with a headstrong personality, and in his own way, Algernon is an education to her. The dashing but flawed private investigator is from a different world to any she has known, and she is smart enough not only to realise the chance he represents, but also the opportunity he provides for learning. As is typical of her personality, she takes to both opportunities with gusto.

I think it is worth noting that outwardly The Charleston's, as Lord's of the Manor, are perceived as 'good' people, whereas Letty Sturrock, a prostitute and the drunken Algernon are society's down and outs. Yet it is they who are truly decent and honourable, as is so often the case.

But fighting those who hold power and have a passion for abusing it is brutally difficult, as Algernon and Letty find out when they begin their search for her missing parents.....



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