Nick Petrie Series

Stephen Gallagher Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sebastian Becker Books

The Kingdom of Bones (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bedlam Detective (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Authentic William James (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of The Lost Stories Books

The Song of Megaptera (By:) (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thin Ice (By:) (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Dying of Paradise / The Last Rose of Summer (As: Stephen Couper) (1978)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Saturn 3 (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Silver Dream Racer (As: John Lydecker) (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Chimera (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ice Belt (As: Stephen Couper) (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Follower (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Valley of Lights (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Oktober (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Down River (1990)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boat House (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nightmare, with Angel (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rain (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Red Red Robin (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White Bizango (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spirit Box (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Painted Bride (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Out Of His Mind (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Plots and Misadventures (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Hot Blood Books

with Lawrence Block, Barbara Collins, Max Allan Collins, Robert J. Randisi, , , Brian Hodge, , Richard Laymon, , , Chet Williamson, Graham Masterton, Ramsey Campbell, John Shirley, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, Edo Van Belkom, , Brian Lumley, Ray Garton, Rex Miller, Karl Edward Wagner, Bentley Little, Tom Piccirilli, Edward Lee, , , Lucy Taylor, , , , , John Byrne, , , , O'Neil de Noux, , Grant Morrison, , , , , , John Edward Ames, , Wendy Rathbone, Matthew Costello
Hot Blood (By:) (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror (With: ,,Richard Laymon,,,Chet Williamson,Graham Masterton,John Shirley,Ray Garton,Rex Miller,Karl Edward Wagner,,,Lucy Taylor,,John Byrne,,,Grant Morrison) (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hottest Blood (By:,Graham Masterton,John Shirley,Nancy Holder,,Rex Miller,Bentley Little,,,,,,Grant Morrison,,,John Edward Ames,,Matthew Costello) (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deadly After Dark (By:) (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seeds of Fear (By:) (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stranger by Night (By:Brian Hodge,Graham Masterton,Ramsey Campbell,Yvonne Navarro,Edo Van Belkom,Brian Lumley,Tom Piccirilli,Edward Lee,Lucy Taylor,,,,,Wendy Rathbone) (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fear the Fever (By:) (1996)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kiss and Kill (By:) (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crimes of Passion (By:) (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hot Blood X (By:Lawrence Block,Barbara Collins,Max Allan Collins,Robert J. Randisi,Brian Hodge,Graham Masterton,Ramsey Campbell,Nancy Holder,Bentley Little,,,,,,O'Neil de Noux) (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fatal Attractions (By:) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Strange Bedfellows (By:) (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark Passions (By:) (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anthology series.

Publication Order of Anthologies

Scaremongers(1981)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arrows Of Eros(1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dark Fantasies(1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror(1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twentieth Annual Collection(2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ghosts: Recent Hauntings(2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twisted Histories(2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beyond the Veil(2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Stephen Gallagher is an English author of horror, crime and historical fiction books. He was born and raised in Salford, Greater Manchester. He has written several television scripts and novels including BBC TV series Doctor Who for which the author wrote two series Terminus (1983) and Warrior’s Gate (1981). Stephen Gallagher adapted his own book Chimera into a television miniseries of the same name. The author wrote and developed series for ITV, Eleventh Hour featuring Patrick Stewart as the main character working as a government science advisor and investigator. This program was rumored to be the answer to the series Doctor Who but it was more in the tradition of a thriller.

Gallagher became a published author in 1978 when Dying of Paradise; a standalone novel was published. In 2007 he published The Kingdom of Bones which marked the beginning of Sebastian Becker series. The author has authored several story collection and novellas and has written under pseudonyms such as John Lydecker and Stephen Couper.

The Kingdom of Bones

The Kingdom of Bones is the first book in Sebastian Becker series by Stephen Gallagher. It is the haunting narrative of Tom Sayers a retired boxing champion who must continue his fights in the ring to clear his name after a series of brutal murder. It is a fast-paced thriller with a subtle touch of the supernatural. The story kicks off as a normal Victorian crime story with a dash of greasepaint and limelight but soon develops into something deeply characterized by subtle shades of expression, a supernatural story, people with scary and shady characters and a tale of unrequited and obsessive love.

The narrative opens up in Victorian British provincial theatre where we meet Tom Sayers, a once flourishing professional boxer now working as a stage manager with a touring company. He is set up for a murder that he did not commit which forces him to exile himself to America where he earns his daily bread by working as a fairground prize-fighter. It is from here where the narrative takes a supernatural twist- it is revealed that Tom Sayer has not only come to America to escape the murder charge, he is also tracking down Louise-a singer with his company. He believes that the young beauty is possessed by a demon named The Wanderer- a demon that grants youth and immortality in exchange for a constant diet of blood through murder. Now Tom’s sole purpose in life has become to find the whereabouts of Louise and save her from the demon. The motive as to why Tom dedicates his life to this mission is never known.

The first book in Sebastian Becker series is a wonderful read. It is an intricate and creative narrative that uses historical characters of the late 1880’s and early 1900’ with most of the action taking place between America and England. The story incorporates a couple of themes. One theme gives the readers an intimate knowledge of the operations of English theatre, the knowledge about occult activities, themes of boxing from carnival to formal as well as the knowledge of early Pinkerton work.
Initially, the reader’s sympathy lies with Tom Sayers, a retired boxer who is now efficiently managing his own company in England. The relationship that exists between Tom Sayers and Detective Sebastian Becker is a bittersweet and a long one that starts when Tom Sayer is wrongly accused as being the man responsible for a series of murders in the wake of his theatre’s engagements. His story unfolds openly from the time he meets (by chance) an old friend Sebastian Becker based n Philadelphia. Becker uses his detective skills to pursue Sayers across America in this tale of crazy obsession and murder.

Gallagher did an excellent job in plot development, world-building, and characterization. The secondary characters are beautifully woven and are all fascinating especially Louise Porter, the woman who Sayers lust for and whom he tries to save from what he terms as possession by the demon. In his quest, he encounters so many strange, mysterious and deadly situations which in the result into a thrilling conclusion. Gallagher’s use of a fictitious version of a real person is a proof that he is a master in this realm of writing. His impressive historical research is vividly portrayed in the realistic recreations of 19th century London Manchester, Richmond, Philadelphia and New Orleans. As the narrative progresses, it becomes less about fighting monsters but instead centers more on finding redemption and salvation from what may be simply a strong psychological idea or a horrid supernatural force.

The Bedlam Detective

The second book in the series is set in 1912 and introduces Sebastian Becker a retired detective now working for London’s Bethlehem Hospital, a notorious insane asylum nicknamed Bedlam- thanks to its chaotic atmosphere.

The former detective now works for Lord Chancellor Lunacy Commission, and he is investigating the rich individuals to determine if they are competent enough to take care of their fortunes or if the Lord Chancellor needs to appoint an overseer for them. As the story opens up, Sebastian is requested to check up on Sir Owain, a rich industrialist who went on an expedition in Amazon forest that left everyone else in his team either dead or missing.

After his return, Owain tarnished his reputation by publishing an account of the expedition that puts the blames of his fellow travel mates on pre-historic monsters that attacked the group. This publication causes the public to ridicule Owain to the point that he leaves London and goes back to his country estate where Sebastian is sent to check on him.

As soon as Sebastian arrives to start investigations, two girls in the nearby village are killed on Owain’s land in the same fashion as the earlier death in Amazon. Owain becomes the main suspect, and it falls to Sebastian to assist the local police in determining the innocence or guilt as well as Owain’s sanity.

Did Sir Owain kill the two girls or did the pre-historic man-eating monster- monster of Arnmouth kill them? If Owain is the killer- could he have also murdered the Amazon expedition team and concocted this fantasy story as a cover-up?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephen Gallagher

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