The Affinity Bridge--George Mann

Steampunk, a glowing policeman, a zombie plague in Whitechapel, a woman who can see into the future, automata, laudanum, and a Victorian male/female detective team to rival Inspector and Mrs. Pitt--how much more can one cram into one slender volume?

This is a rapid and fun run through Steampunk Victoriana.  It centers around two investigations: a glowing policeman who shows up to strangle the poor and destitute in Whitechapel and the crash of a huge airship on which a member of the royal family was traveling.

The mystery--entirely satisfactorily resolved.  All the elements brought together in a coherent and logical manner.  The investigation is a little drawn out--but that allows for zombie attacks, automaton attacks, visits to Cassandras, and other elements that never cause the pace to slacken. The steampunk--nicely done from a bellows-attached Queen Victoria to automated surgical machinery and airships--beautifully conceived.

Fun, tightly written, intelligent, keen.  I'm really looking forward to the second in the series--The Osiris Ritual, already available.

Oh, for those who have been paying attention and are unduly concerned, it does appear that the zombie plague in this book is caused by prions.  There is a description of spongiform damage to brain tissue that pretty much corroborates a CJD or  related syndrome cause.

Fun, enjoyable well-written light reading.  ****


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