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Lord John And The Hellfire Club (2015)

Lord John and the Hellfire Club (2015)

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3.83 of 5 Votes: 5
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140255981X (ISBN13: 9781402559815)
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About book Lord John And The Hellfire Club (2015)

Author: Diana GabaldonGenre: Novella, Historical, MysteryRating: CIn "Lord John and the Hellfire Club" Lord John Grey (of the famed Outlander series) witnesses the murder of one Robert Gerald, the cousin of Grey’s friend and colleague, Harry Quarry. Even before rumours begin to circulate about Gerald’s sexuality Grey had vowed to find the murderer, a search which brings Grey to the Hellfire Club, where the story becomes more about the danger that threatens Grey’s life than discovering who murdered Gerald.I was actually rather disappointed by this story. Going into it I understood that it was a novella and that Diana Gabaldon had never written a novella before, but this still really didn’t meet my expectations. The detail that you can expect in one of her books is still there, but because of the brevity of the story itself this actually takes away from things. When writing a novella there is a word count, and unlike in books when you can simply add pages (or divide books into two parts, à la George R.R. Martin) if you surpass that count your work is going to be cut. Thus, in order to add details Gabaldon has to take away from other elements – in this case, she deprives the plot. Everything happens too quickly and too easily, and without any real depth to it. Furthermore, the suspense of the story is somewhat diminished by the fact that this novella is a prequel of sorts; any fan of the Outlander series knows that Grey appears in books set after this novella, thus when his life is endangered there’s a large “meh” element to it. I’m not worried about whether or not Grey survives, because I know he has to. I’m not even worried about him being grievously harmed or disfigured, or even if his reputation is tarnished and his secret exposed – I know it doesn’t happen. Which is why all of that seems to be a large part of the suspense of the novella; Gabaldon wants readers to be asking what’s going to happen and if Grey is going to emerge from this story alive. She seems to almost forget that we already know the answer.

** 3.5 stars**To say that Lord John intrigues me, got to be an understatement. Since his small appearance in Dragonfly in Amber, which I suspected it wouldn't be the last time I read about him, he became more important in Voyager. So meanwhile I wait for my paperback copy of the 4th book to arrive, I'll spend my time with John, and that's seems quite awesome, since I gather he will be involved in many adventures.In this little story, it starts with a man with hair like fire, and brown piercing eyes, that seeks his help,only to die in his arms soon later. It is up to John now, to investigate who is behind it, even if it's dangerous to.

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This is a novella that is based on a side character Lord John Grey from the epic Outlander books (he first makes an appearance in book 3). There is about 5 or 6 books written on Lord John and they should ideally be read between book 3 and 4 of the Outlander series and so I am now reading them as that is what you do when you have reading OCD....even though all I want to do is pick up book 5. Anyway, Lord John is an okay character, but I never thought him interesting enough to warrant his own book. The author does a good job at making sure fans know the terms and conditions before opening the first page. That is 1) this is NOT a Jamie/Claire book, 2) this is a novella (40 pages!) written for some detective-mystery compilation, and 3) don't go all fan crazy when you realise this is not in the style of the Outlander books.So Lord John puts on his Scooby Doo cap to solve a mystery. Although I confess I didn't really understand the mystery (WHAT THE HELL WAS HAPPENING?) and I think Lord John does a crappy job anyway as the girl ends up dead and his solving the crime is basically the bad guy saying to him "Hey, I did it" and Lord John looking as confused as I did.All in all, this is what it is (or it isn't what it isn't). After reading the first four books in the Outlander series this year (each around 800 pages), my reading target for 2014 is decimated. If nothing else, this 40 page book just got me back in the game and for that I applaud you Lord John :-P

It's not my favorite Lord John story, but then, it is not a genre I often read. It still introduces a few characters we meet at greater length in The Lord John novels, and has a bit if interest there. The end was rather anticlimactic. Lord J got out of his strange dilemma, but I was still left wondering about the loose ends, so I was a bit surprised to see that was all there was. DG was trying her hand at a new form, a short story, by commission to fit a specific anthology, so perhaps she was a bit out of her element, as I was mine. It certainly did not turn me off reading more DG novels, or following Lord John, however.
—Dawn Dorsey

A great novella in which Gabaldon uses her great Lord John Grey to solve a murder, while upholding his usual party-centred life. Gabaldon introduces the reader, in passing, to Jamie, who is surely a central character in the Outlander series and has an evil web relationship with Grey, as any fan of the Outlander books will know. Quick witted and full of both detail and historical narration, Gabaldon does a great job for those wanting a very quick read, perhaps a bridge between two major texts (be they of her other books or not).I have (perhaps shockingly) been a Gabaldon fan for a long time and devour the books whenever I can. This quick novellas are even more enticing, as they can be consumed in a quick sitting or a longer drive home in rush hour. Great treats for the Grey fan, or someone who enjoys a historical mystery.

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