Bryan Talbot, Author . Dark Horse $17.95 (108p) ISBN 978-1-59582-397-7

Talbot follows up the admirable but abstruse Alice in Sunderland with an engrossing blend of steampunk, Victorian-flavored detective stories, anthropomorphized animals and 9/11 allegory. The storytelling skills that he brought to The Tale of One Bad Rat are firing on all cylinders as he spins the tale of Scotland Yard's bodybuilding badger, Insp.-Det. Archie LeBrock searching for a murder squad, a trail of violent intrigue leading to France. In this alternate historical setting, Britain fell under French rule during the Napoleonic Wars and became the Socialist Republic of Britain, a situation rife with civil disobedience, explosive terrorism and mutual suspicion between the two countries, all simmering elements that could lead to war. The murder LeBrock and his adjunct, Detective Ratzi, are investigating may somehow be tied to a mysterious grand plan, leading to a tightly woven tapestry of sex, violence and political intrigue containing strong commentary on 9/11 and the political machinations that fueled it. The animal-headed characters—alluding to The Wind and the Willows —just add to an entertaining and multileveled whodunit by a master storyteller. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 97 pages - 978-0-224-08488-8
Hardcover - 104 pages - 978-0-224-09624-9
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