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Synopsis

Colonel Katterfelto has lately returned to London. He departed America under something of a cloud ... of smoke, issuing from his Spiritual Laboratory, which the townsfolk of Wormcast, Arizona, marched upon with their flaming torches. This catastrophic conflagration caused considerable concern to the pious colonel, who had been engaged in the creation of 'Heaven's last and best gift to Mankind', The Mechanical Messiah. And he was, after all, being guided in this Great Work by holy angels, communicating to him through his monkey butler, Darwin. It is 1897, twelve years since The War of the Worlds and two since Worlds War Two*. The British Empire encompasses Mars, and an uneasy peace exists between the peoples of Venus, Jupiter and Earth. In London there are many marvels of the modern age to be experienced. Amongst these is The Electric Alhambra Music Hall, where crowds thrill to The Earl Grey Whistle Test, a musical extravaganza featuring such top turns as Hayward's Acrobatic Kiwis, The Travelling Formbys and the newly-arrived Colonel Katterfelto's Clockwork Minstrels. But all is far from well in old Whitechapel, where a monster is once more abroad in the night-time streets, committing hideous acts of murder. Can this be the return of Jack the Ripper, or has something altogether unearthly materialised to spread fear, panic and mayhem? Something Hellishly evil?

Famed consulting detective Cameron Bell is already on the case, but it may take nothing less than the New Messiah Himself to save London, The Empire and all of the solar system from the impending apocalypse!

'Stark raving genius' Observer

*See The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and other Unnatural Attractions.

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