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Set in 1851, three years after the events in The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë, Rowland's fast-paced second Charlotte Brontë adventure continues to transform the shy author of Jane Eyre into an action heroine. Still pining for John Slade, the rugged spy from the first book whose marriage proposal she refused, Charlotte is stunned to come across John under restraints in Bedlam, the notorious London hospital for the insane. The last she knew John was in Russia on a secret mission. When Charlotte learns the police suspect that John is the Whitechapel Ripper, who's killed and mutilated three prostitutes, she sets out to prove him innocent, despite John's spymaster telling her that he betrayed Britain in Russia. The less than imaginative use of an ur–Jack the Ripper may disappoint those expecting the depth and sophistication of the author's series set in medieval Japan (The Cloud Pavilion, etc.). This historical thriller will likely appeal more to romance fans than Brontë enthusiasts. (June)
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Jane Eyre’s alter ego returns when Charlotte Brontë again finds herself embroiled in a treacherous escapade that transports her from the squalid slums of Whitechapel to Queen Victoria’s regal summer estate. While visiting her publisher in London, Charlotte hopes to find the inspiration for her next novel during a visit to the notorious Bedlam Psychiatric Hospital. Instead, she recognizes one of the inmates as John Slade, her secret-agent lover whom she believed was on a mission to Russia—or dead. When Charlotte’s efforts to free Slade put her directly in the center of an international plot to stop a terrorist from launching a lethal biological weapon, the intrepid author herself is accused of heinous murders and becomes the subject of a police manhunt. Rowland’s literary heroine demonstrates all the cunning, guile, and daredevil skills of a modern-day Bond girl while retaining the essence of Victorian morality. Sharply relevant, Rowland’s inventive action-thriller delivers enough intrigue and romance to satisfy a wide array of readers. --Carol HaggasSee all Editorial Reviews