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Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Cover of Lord John and the Hand of Devils

Lord John and the Hand of Devils

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Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . . . dark family secrets. And here Lord John will face enemies who come in the guise of friends, memories in the shape of a fiery-haired Scot named James Fraser, and allies who have the power to destroy him with a single blow. . . .

In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen's club--and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to tesify and soon confronts his own ghost--and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty's armed forces.

Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama. And in tales seething with desire, madness, and political intrigue, Gabaldon once again proves that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.

From the Hardcover edition.

Diana Gabaldon, the New York Times bestselling author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade and the wildly popular Outlander novels, delivers three tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey. In the heart of the eighteenth century, here are haunted soldiers . . . lusty princesses . . . ghostly apparitions . . . dark family secrets. And here Lord John will face enemies who come in the guise of friends, memories in the shape of a fiery-haired Scot named James Fraser, and allies who have the power to destroy him with a single blow. . . .

In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen's club--and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to tesify and soon confronts his own ghost--and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty's armed forces.

Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama. And in tales seething with desire, madness, and political intrigue, Gabaldon once again proves that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Part IA Red-Haired Man

    London, 1756 The Society for Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, a gentleman's club Lord John Grey jerked his eyes away from the door. No. No, he mustn't turn and stare. Needing some other focus for his gaze, he fixed his eyes instead on Quarry's scar.

    "A glass with you, sir?" Scarcely waiting for the club's steward to provide for his companion, Harry Quarry drained his cup of claret, then held it out for more. "And another, perhaps, in honor of your return from frozen exile?" Quarry grinned broadly, the scar pulling down the corner of his eye in a lewd wink as he did so, and lifted up his glass again.

    Lord John tilted his own cup in acceptance of the salute, but barely tasted the contents. With an effort, he kept his eyes on Quarry's face, willing himself not to turn and stare, not to gawk after the flash of fire in the corridor that had caught his eye.

    Quarry's scar had faded; tightened and shrunk to a thin white slash, its nature made plain only by its position, angled hard across the ruddy cheek. It might otherwise have lost itself among the lines of hard living, but instead remained visible, the badge of honor that its owner so plainly considered it.

    "You are exceeding kind to note my return, sir," Grey said. His heart hammered in his ears, muffling Quarry's words--no great loss to conversation.

    It is not, his sensible mind pointed out, it cannot be. Yet sense had nothing to do with the riot of his sensibilities, that surge of feeling that seized him by nape and buttocks, as though it would pluck him up and turn him forcibly to go in pursuit of the red-haired man he had so briefly glimpsed.

    Quarry's elbow nudged him rudely, a not-unwelcome recall to present circumstances.

    ". . . among the ladies, eh?"

    "Eh?"

    "I say your return has been noted elsewhere, too. My sister-in-law bid me send her regard and discover your present lodgings. Do you stay with the regiment?"

    "No, I am at present at my mother's house, in Jermyn Street." Finding his cup still full, Grey raised it and drank deep. The Beefsteak's claret was of excellent vintage, but he scarcely noticed its bouquet. There were voices in the hall outside, raised in altercation.

    "Ah. I'll inform her, then; expect an invitation by the morn- ing post. Lucinda has her eye upon you for a cousin of hers, I daresay--she has a flock of poor but well-favored female relations, whom she means to shepherd to good marriages." Quarry's teeth showed briefly. "Be warned."

    Grey nodded politely. He was accustomed to such overtures. The youngest of four brothers, he had no hopes of a title, but the family name was ancient and honorable, his person and countenance not without appeal--and he had no need of an heiress, his own means being ample.

    The door flung open, sending such a draft across the room as made the fire in the hearth roar up like the flames of Hades, scattering sparks across the Turkey carpet. Grey gave thanks for the burst of heat; it gave excuse for the color that he felt suffuse his cheeks.

    Nothing like. Of course he is nothing like. Who could be? And yet the emotion that filled his breast was as much disappointment as relief.

    The man was tall, yes, but not strikingly so. Slight of build, almost delicate. And young, younger than Grey, he judged. But the hair--yes, the hair was very like.

    Lord John Grey." Quarry had intercepted the young man, a hand on his sleeve, turning him for introduction. "Allow me to acquaint you with my cousin by marriage, Mr. Robert Gerald."

    Mr. Gerald nodded shortly, then seemed to take hold of himself. Suppressing whatever it was that had caused the...

About the Author-
  • Diana Gabaldon is the author of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Private Matter, and the New York Times bestselling Outlander novels. She won a 2006 Quill Award for her most recent Outlander novel, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.


    From the Hardcover edition.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus Reviews

    "Gabaldon's strengths are on full display.... Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits."

  • Booklist "A captivating collection.... featuring richly detailed historical settings, splendidly nuanced characters, and expertly crafted plots."
  • Entertainment Weekly "[Lord John displays] characteristic elan, intelligence, and fortitude.... You may find yourself relishing the dishes of gooseberry trifle, the cozy afternoons at the Beefsteak Appreciation Society, and the companionship of this urbane 18th century blade."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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