Captain Charles Maddox returns secretly to London from an exile in disgrace only to be arrested, imprisoned and threatened with the death penalty. He is rescued by a shadowy government agency called the Map Room who give him a choice: return to prison or become an agent, codenamed Sterling, and help them uncover a government conspiracy connected to the Ripper murders.
Led by the coolly calculating Milady and her associate Collier, and aided by fellow agent Church and mechanical computer expert Patience, the freshly appointed Agent Sterling must rapidly learn his new trade if he is to survive the murky and violent fringes of Victorian life and uncover a secret that threatens the Empire itself.
Set in 1896 in an alternative Victorian timeline where mechanical computers are a part of everyday life, The Sterling Directive blends fact and fiction to create a gripping thriller for fans of espionage and historical adventure alike.
Tim Standish grew up in England, Scotland and Egypt. Following a degree in Psychology, his career has included teaching English in Spain, working as a researcher on an early computer games project, and working with groups and individuals on business planning, teamworking and personal development. He has travelled extensively throughout his life and when not working or writing, he enjoys long walks under big skies and is never one to pass up a jaunt across a field in search of an obscure historic site. He has recently discovered the more-exciting-than-you-would-think world of overly-complicated boardgames.
This was a fun read, set in a Steampunk dystopian Victorian London, where rival secretive organisations carry out strange investigations and hire thugs and killers to do their dirty work.
Into this world comes Charles Maddox, disgraced aristocrat and acclaimed military Captain, having spent eight years in the Canadian wilderness.
He’s assigned an alias and a mission – solve the Ripper killings.
Via a mix of clever insights and solid investigation, the Map Room soon uncovers a dark conspiracy, with links all the way to the Crown.
A rip roaring adventure across London and the English countryside ensues as Sterling and Church pursue the man behind the plot.
Tremendous fun to read, and with an intriguing theory, this is an excellent addition to the growing genre of Steampunk Victoriana.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.