Who Cries for The Lost by C.S. Harris

Who Cries for the Lost (Sebastian St. Cyr, #18)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr #18
Publication Date: 4/18/23
Period: Regency
Number of Pages: 368

I cannot say enough good things about this author’s dedication to historical accuracy in political, social, and military norms. She elegantly portrays the tensions in London as Napoleon escapes his island prison and marches back into Paris to begin the wars all over again. The tension mounts as news of Quatre Bras and Ligny reach London and then crescendos when news of Waterloo reaches them. Cheering the victory or mourning the loss of so many lives, everyone feels deeply about the war’s end. Set among these tensions is our story of a savage murder and mutilation – quickly followed by more. With London already on edge, Sebastian knows they must find and stop this vicious maniac before London erupts and everyone goes over the edge.

Nobody thinks too much about it when an almost naked, grossly mutilated corpse is pulled out of the Thames. Dozens of bodies are pulled from the Thames each year, but none like this one, and when he is identified as an aristocrat, Major Miles Sedgewick, brother to a Marquis, it finally becomes something important to Bow Street. It also quickly becomes vitally important to Sebastian St. Cyr when he learns that the body was identified by Alexi Sauvage who is the paramour of Sebastian’s best friend – Paul Gibson. Alexi identifies the corpse as Miles Sauvage – her husband – though it turned out she was tricked and it wasn’t a legal marriage. Had it not been for Alexi, Miles would have ended up in an unmarked mass grave, unidentified and unmarked. Would it have been better for that to have happened? You might be able to answer that after you’ve read the book – or you might not.

With people pointing fingers at Alexi, Sebastian knows it won’t be long before his closest friend, Irish surgeon Paul Gibson is pointed at as well. Sebastian knows without a doubt Paul isn’t guilty, but, for brief instances, he can see where Alexi might be. However, as more and more details surface about Miles and the person he was, there is a wide swath of the world population who might have wished to see him in his current state. Then, another body, this time without a head or feet, turns up in the Thames and nobody knows who he is as there is nothing identifiable about him. They believe him to be an aristocrat because of his soft skin and well-cared-for nails, but, is he? When yet another body turns up and two more people are reported as missing – everybody in London is beginning to be afraid of their own shadows. That is especially true with the suspense and worry about Bonaparte adding to the struggle.

There are more red herrings than you can shake a stick at – and all of them are very viable as suspects. Then, there are the motives – who knew there could possibly be so many potential motives for a set of crimes? Are the crimes all related? Is there more than one murderer? Is it overflowing from the wars on the continent? Is it a cuckolded husband? Or, is it really Alexi getting payback for Miles tricking her into a false marriage? Can it be that simple? Oh! You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

I anxiously await each new book in this series. My heart palpates with excitement and I vow I will read it slowly, savor each and every word so I can make the pleasure last absolutely as long as possible. Then, reality hits, the book arrives, and I devour each and every word so quickly I’m not even aware time is passing. Sadly, the book is read much too quickly, and I’m back to anxiously awaiting the next release.

This is a wonderfully crafted tale with a mystery so twisted you’ll be wondering right until the last who really did it – and why. You’ll hold your breath awaiting the next body, the next clue, the next bit of stray, meaningless information that might be the biggest clue yet. You’ll also feel the deep sense of apprehension felt by Londoners as they await news from the Continent. Is the war over? Who won? What will happen next?

I can definitely recommend this book and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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