The Frankenstein Murders by Kathlyn BradshawThe Frankenstein Murders by Kathlyn Bradshaw

The Frankenstein Murders

byKathlyn Bradshaw

Paperback | September 27, 2008

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about

It is the early 19th century. A young English detective named Edward Freame is assigned a case that could make or break his career. He is to track down a serial strangler, a task made daunting by the fact that the murders are three years old, and the one person connected to the victims is dead, leaving only his writings behind. It is in these writings, the journal of a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein, that the search for answers begins. Freame sets out on a journey to retrace Frankenstein’s last flight across Europe, and follow his descent into the human abyss.

The Frankenstein Murders is a shock to the system, working elements from Mary Shelley’s original masterpiece into a story that is equal parts Victorian gaslight detective mystery and modern psychological thriller. Its period-perfect prose, vivid characterization, and gripping narrative is guaranteed to take the reader on a stunning intellectual journey to a place where men and monsters are one and the same.

Kathlyn Bradshaw has lived her entire life in the Ottawa region, where the gothic architecture of parliament has become embedded in her subconscious. She presently works at the Algonquin College School of Advanced Technology as a Professor of English. The Frankenstein Murders is her first novel.
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Title:The Frankenstein MurdersFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.51 × 5.58 × 0.77 inPublished:September 27, 2008Publisher:Cormorant Books IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1897151160

ISBN - 13:9781897151167

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from An electrifying read! The Frankenstein Murders is a fine first novel by Ottawa writer Kathlyn Bradshaw. For those who have read and loved Mary Shelley's Frankenstein it provides a fascinating look back at the events of that novel as well as an interesting continuation of the macabre tale of death and life that first electrified readers nearly two hundred years ago. The novel is framed as an investigation into the death of Henry Clerval. As described in Shelley's original, Henry was one of Victor Frankenstein's dearest friends. Shortly after the "birth" of the monster, Victor suffered a mental collapse and it was he, Henry, who nursed Victor back to health. Later Henry accompanied Victor on his journeys, only to be strangled on the shores of Ireland by the terrible creature. Now, several years after the murder, the journal of Captain Robert Walton finds itself in the hands of Henry's father, George Clerval. The senior Clerval does not fully believe the fantastic tale captured in Walton's journal and thus decides to hire a private investigator to determine the true identity of his son's killer. Edward Freame is the investigator hired. Freame has worked several cases that allegedly involved the paranormal and has always managed to discover the rational truth behind the seemingly fantastic. Recently Freame solved a very high-profile London crime which had at first had been explained away as an unfortunate bout of spontaneous combustion. Through a series of deductions Freame exposed the crime and identified the criminal. Think Sherlock Holmes with a dash of Fox Mulder. Freame reads and re-reads the story of Frankenstein's life as captured in Walton's journal. He decides that in order to uncover the truth he must retrace the path taken by Victor Frankenstein immediately following the creation of the monster years before. This journey takes Freame through Scotland, the Orkney Islands, Ireland, Geneva (home of Castle Frankenstein), Evian (where Frankenstein and his new bride spent their first, and last, evening as man and wife), Ingolstadt (where the creature was brought to life), and the north of Russia. By day Freame interviews various characters who appeared in Shelley's original, and by night he ruminates on the identity of the murderer and tries to decipher the complex character of Victor Frankenstein. Throughout much of the novel Freame expresses mostly frustration at his lack of progress in the investigation due to the lack of information he has gleaned from most of his interview subjects. Are they hiding a dark truth, or is the truth simply buried too deep in the past? Then about two thirds through the book, Freame uncovers a bombshell that may break the case. The author writes in an engaging style. Some of the language and structure hearken back to the original novel, although the writing is far less verdant than Shelley's poetically dense prose. The description of a macabre discovery made by Freame in Frankenstein's castle is particularly well handled. The pages detailing Freame's ultimate conclusion regarding the true identity of the murderer are also finely crafted. A brief epilogue provides a fittingly nebulous end to the novel. Less successful are the short preface which provides an unnecessarily oblique and somewhat overwritten beginning, and a couple of passages in which Freame's musings about inconsistencies in Frankenstein's story read more like criticism of Shelley's plotting. A principle enjoyment of the novel lies in our re-acquaintance with several of the characters that populated Shelley's original. We meet Mrs. Margaret Saville, Captain Walton's concerned sister. We visit again with Magistrate Kirwin, who presided over the trial which initially convicted Frankenstein of Henry Clerval's murder. We hear from Daniel Nugent, who discovered Henry's body. We visit the Frankenstein castle. We meet with Captain Robert Walton and some of his crew. We even speak with Captain Ernest Frankenstein, brother to Victor and poor William. In addition, Freame provides insights into other characters from Shelley's tome, principly Victor, Victor's parents, Henry, Elizabeth, and little William. The reader becomes fully engaged as Freame's analytical mind grapples with the extraordinary events described in Walton's journal. He finally arrives at the only logical explanation -- but is truth necessarily governed by logic? For fans of the original Frankenstein novel, The Frankenstein Murders is a must-read. It revisits the characters and settings that made the original great, reveals secrets that Victor Frankenstein has long concealed, and introduces new characters who move the Frankenstein story forward in an interesting and original way.
Date published: 2009-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Gothic Mystery This book asks the question - "What ever happened to the characters left dangling in the Mary Shelley original?" It does so in a prevocative style, intelligently-written. I recommend this highly to mystery lovers and avid classics fans alike.
Date published: 2008-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Unlike other sequels to classics which were very disappointing, there is nothing disappointing about Bradshaw's The Frankenstein Murders. If you're a fan of Shelly's original, you will not be disappointed; if you've never read Shelly's original, you will not be disappointed. It is a great mystery in and of itself. A modern classic by a Canadian author!
Date published: 2008-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gothic whodunit Finely crafted, beautifully paced and written this unusual book tells its story from a unique perspective building in a mannered style from the correspondence of its principals. If this "reported" style sounds dull, it isn't for the suspense is sustained throughout and the characterisation developed through the characters own insights into and reactions to unfolding events and to the other characters' reactions to same. As the book's main character attempts to rebuild a chain of events from a trail where scents are long cold, and where information is both sparse and often contradictory, the author allows us to make our own judgements about the nature of the tapestry being woven and I was often surprised when further information unearthed en route forced me again and again to reconsider my version of how events most likely unfolded. This is an intelligent author deeply steeped in the Gothic tradition who has produced a wonderful first novel that is a pleasure to read.
Date published: 2008-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wildly Anticipated! I'm such a Frankenstein story fan, and I can't wait to read 'The Frankenstein Murders'. The premise has me intrigued, and I heard a radio interview with the author who sounds like she tells a smart, engaging story in this book! Can't wait for the release date!
Date published: 2008-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sounds Brilliant! Can't wait to read this book! I loved the Mary Shelley Frankenstein novel, and for a book to delve into the deeper Frankenstein myth.
Date published: 2008-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Tittle! I will look forward to read it. It also sounds different than others.
Date published: 2008-02-08