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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
The Barghest (A Midnight Gunn Novel) by C. L. Monaghan is the type of book you want to read while sitting by a warm fireplace with hot cocoa or, even better, a vintage brandy on hand. That happens to be the favorite drink of the main character, Midnight Gunn. Set in Victorian Scotland, May 1862, we are introduced to the main character, Midnight Gunn, an English lord with mysterious powers of the occult. The follow-up to The Hollows, the story begins with Midnight traveling from London to spend the summer at his cousin Felicity Adams’s Glenhaven Estate. Along for the ride is Midnight’s adopted daughter, little Polly, a charming young girl with powers of her own, as well as Midnight’s hired help, each with their own special personality. There are mysterious deaths, missing bodies, and a frightening four-legged wolf-like creature stalking them. Sherlock Holmes' fans will be reminded of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Midnight Gunn, like Holmes, is a detective as he tries to solve a mystery in connection with the estate, as well as the strange happenings in the Scottish countryside. As he tries to protect his loved ones with his occult abilities, he learns that a frightening adversary is after him as well.
The Barghest has a good portion of charm, with old-fashioned dialogue between the characters complete with regional accents. Polly, for one, is a joy when she speaks. And C.L. Monaghan has created a fascinating character in Midnight Gunn. Born with unique abilities, such as enhanced senses, a command of life forces including the power to heal, Midnight can also retrieve memories in someone’s head, much like Mr. Spock, the Vulcan from Startrek. Without revealing too much, The Barghest has a dastardly villain lurking in the background, sexual tension between Midnight and two of the female characters, and a Scotland Yard detective friend who assists Midnight Gunn when he needs it. A supernatural thriller to enjoy with your favorite libation. Cheers.