The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney
A thoroughly entertaining novel set in early Victorian London, the Mesmerist is the story of an aging actress with a colourful past as the mistress of a lord. Discovering that she has the ability to take away people’s pain, she swaps the theatre for consulting rooms in Bloomsbury. It’s all going swimmingly until her past returns to haunt her. The story is full of vividly painted characters, and bustles along at a rollicking pace. It is funny, poignant and distressing by turns. At times I found the tension almost unbearable, especially towards the end where the plot tightens with every page. The style is a little loose in places but as a piece of storytelling, this could hardly be bettered.