Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Rough Beast by H. R. Knight

What Rough Beast
by H.R. Knight

My rating: 4 stars

Publication Date: September 8, 2014
Publisher: H. R. Knight
ISBN: 0843954566
Genre: Adult Historical Paranormal Mystery
Print Length: 320 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


An unlikely partnership between escape artist Harry Houdini and mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is born as their plan to debunk an infamous occultist leads them on a pursuit of a horrific demon that has been unleashed upon London.

Harry Houdini, the famous escape artist, asks Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, to help him expose Maximillian Cairo—a spiritualist medium. But the two men underestimate Cairo. He's a master of the occult and the most debauched man in London. When they interrupt a magic ritual, a force for ecstasy and chaos explodes on an unsuspecting 1903 London.

One by one, each of the people who attended the ritual are tainted by the touch of the monster. Each feels an ecstatic burst of creativity, only to succumb later to an act of uncontrollable madness. When the temporary insanity passes, each is left drained and

Soon Conan Doyle and Houdini face a locked room murder mystery that baffles even Houdini. And clues they find convince them that the thing they set loose has completely taken possession of one the people who attended the ritual with them.

Even worse, the unearthly beast is determined to hunt them down, before they can figure out how to stop it.

The proper Victorian gentleman and the exuberant New Yorker must team up to solve the murder and stop the thing they unleashed before it completely unravels their ordered world. In the end, Conan Doyle must face the monster alone and find the courage to literally embrace that which he fears most in order to defeat it.

My Review
What Rough Beast by H. R. Knight 

Can the creator of the world’s greatest sleuth and the world’s greatest escape artist uncover the evil behind mystery and mayhem terrifying London? Discover the answer in H. R. Knight’s What Rough Beast, an historical look at the occult, unlikely allies and what happens when a dark god is unleashed on Earth.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini team up to expose the dark medium, Max Cairo for the fraud he is, by using the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes and magical skills of the Great Houdini. What they uncover is far more deadly and dangerous than either could have imagined. Even the smoke and mirrors used to pander to grieving relatives desperate to connect with their loved ones across the veil pales in comparison to the darkness unleashed. Can they stop this evil entity before it destroys London and beyond? Will its evil be manifested as a madness in it victims?

Told with the atmosphere of Old London, H. R. Knight does a wonderful job of creating a world that feels dark and foreboding, dank and evil. From the sounds of horses’ hooves the ever-present fog and drizzle, London comes to life. Conan Doyle is the image of his fictional Holmes and Harry Houdini is like a child often needing attention and praise until his skills are needed, then he is all business. Perhaps a little too sure of his infallibility but a delightful character! Doyle has his own personal shadows and pain in his life, as well as a guilty conscience for things left behind in search of the answers to his latest mystery.

Take a trip into the past, feel the darkness envelope you and watch the masters at work as they unravel this mystery! But my advice? Think twice before holding a séance!

I received this copy as part of the What Rough Beast Review Tour Stopping at Tome Tender November 17, 2014.


  1. Thank your for the wonderful review and for participating in the Tour. Victoria at My Family's Heart

  2. Thank you so much for being part of the tour & reviewing the book - Tonya@MyFamily'sHeart