cover image The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation

The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation

George Mann. Tor, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3409-1

Mann’s fifth early-20th-century supernatural thriller featuring investigators Sir Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes (after 2013’s The Executioner’s Heart) has more clichés than chills: one villain remarks to a helpless prisoner, “If you’re going to die, I suppose you should at least know why.” Sir Maurice is en route to St. Petersburg by train, along with Veronica’s sister, Amelia, in a desperate attempt to get access to “the intricate mechanisms” needed to replace Veronica’s failing heart. Their mission is imperiled by a member of the Cabal of the Horned Beast, a society dedicated to remaking humanity “in the Devil’s image,” as well as bloodthirsty revenants. Meanwhile, back in London, Veronica is aiding the police in investigating a deadly and highly contagious parasitic fungus that has been destroying people’s bodies from the inside. Stock situations and throwback pulp prose (“The girl would be no trouble. His blade would drink its fill as it parted her soft, yielding flesh”) add up to a forgettable novel. Agent: Charlotte Robertson. (Feb.)