The Kingdom of Bones is the haunting story of Tom Sayers, a former boxing champion who must continue to fight—to clear his name after a series of gruesome murders, for the heart and soul of a leading lady, and to uncover the truth behind a legend as old as evil itself.
Wrongly accused of the slaughter of pauper children in the wake of the touring theater company he manages, Tom Sayers is forced to disappear into a twilight world of music halls and traveling boxing booths. Beginning with a chance encounter in a Philadelphia pleasure park one weekend in 1903, this brilliantly macabre mystery traces Sayers’ journey from England’s provincial playhouses through London’s mighty Lyceum Theatre and on to the high society of a transforming American South—with many a secret to be uncovered in the dark alleyways, backstage areas, and houses of ill repute that lie along the way.
As Sayers seeks the truth behind the killings, he is pursued in turn by the tireless Detective Inspector Sebastian Becker. Desperate to ensure the safety of actress Louise Porter, Sayers calls on an old friend, Bram Stoker, for help. But Stoker’s links with the world of the Victorian occult lead Sayers to discover a danger even greater than he could have imagined.
Thrown into a maelstrom of obsession, betrayal, and sacrifice—where even the pure may not escape damnation—Sayers must face the implications of an unthinkable bargain: the exchange of a soul for a chance at eternal life.
With action that spans continents, decades, and every level of society, The Kingdom of Bones follows the troubled lives of those touched by Tom Sayers, ultimately weaving their stories into a harrowing climax that stirs the mind—and the blood.
“Grafting supernatural elements onto straightforward detective stories, Stephen Gallagher shows the occult mystery in its best light…. Stylish.” —New York Times Book Review
“Highly addictive . . . Gallagher pulls it off with genuine skill. The chance of immortality and the occult are compelling and deftly handled….No reader will be let down by the ending.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“[A] swift-moving supernatural thriller.” —Los Angeles Times
“If thriller-reading were a sin, Stephen Gallagher would be responsible for my ultimate damnation.” —Dean R. Koontz