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Mesmer's Disciple

Edward Swanson

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Riverrun Bookstore Inc

Published : 2012

Copyright : Edward Swanson 2012

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9-88537-06-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-988537-06-4

Publisher's Write-Up

New York City in 1847 is a boiling stew of ethnic gangs, foul living conditions, and runaway crime. Police Captain Alvord Rawn effectively meets violence with violence until one bloody night he goes too far. Forced to resign, Alvord agrees to help a wealthy society woman locate her missing son, the rising artist Charles Deas, who has been painting and exploring the frontier areas west of St. Louis.

Deas has fallen under the spell of the mysterious Count Abendroth, a practitioner of mesmerism. Under the Count’s sinister occult guidance, Deas’s paintings have grown darker and more intense, verging on madness.

When Alvord arrives in St. Louis, he finds that Abendroth is much more than a charlatan, and that he is massing his dark powers for nefarious ends. Abendroth is unwilling to let Deas leave without a fight, which is just fine with former Police Captain Alvord Rawn, because fighting is what he does best.

As each side gathers soldiers for a final showdown, author Edward Swanson blends exacting period detail, old time story telling, and non-stop action into a satisfying climax of good versus evil.

'Thoughtful and action-packed, with a final showdown that is both exciting and gratifying--a fine first novel. History, action, the supernatural and intelligent discourse; this novel holds something for everyone.'

Kirkus Reviews
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (010620) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

This historical novel is about a man forced to confront evil beings directly from Hell.

Alvord Rawn is a police captain in 1840's New York City. He is not afraid to fight violence with violence, until the day that he goes too far. Now an ex-police captain, he is traveling to St. Louis, the gateway to the frontier, on a private matter. Charles Deas is an up-and-coming artist, whose letters home to his mother, a member of New York's high society, have become increasingly dark and bizarre. She asks Rawn to find her son, and bring him back home.

Deas has fallen under the influence of Count Abendroth, a practitioner of mesmerism. It's an early form of hypnosis, but, in Abendroth's hands, it is a lot more than just hypnosis. In looking around Abendroth's estate, Rawn sees a woman literally climbing the walls. He also hears hideous sounds, not of this earth, coming out of people's mouths. Abendroth's plan is to train disciples in mesmerism, and use them to control the state of Missouri, then control the neighbouring states and territories, and then, who knows?

Rawn gets his own taste of mesmerism (which has led to a population explosion in the psycho ward of the local jail). He is exposed to black, unspeakable beings who are just waiting for a chance to suck an innocent soul to Hell. Rawn fights his way out of it, but, to get to Abendroth, he has to get past Otto Volkmar, A Prussian giant and Abendroth's chief enforcer. Who wins the epic, no holds barred battle? What happens to Deas and Abendroth?

This is an excellent novel. It feels historically accurate (Charles Deas was a real person who lived in St. Louis, and later went insane in New York City), and is very easy to read from start to finish. It also has plenty of action. This is highly recommended.
Paul Lappen (1st June 2020)

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