In this lovely installment, we find Annja traveling to London to track down information on the mysterious formula that supposedly created Mr. Hyde. This is all thanks to her erstwhile Chasing History's Monsters producer Doug Morrell who has an obsession with all things supernatural and bizarre. It seems that a handful of women have been brutally murdered, and Annya wants to track down the mysterious Mr. Hyde before the police do. Naturally, we have the annoyingly intrusive Chief Inspector Westcox standing in Annja's way and even threatening to deport her if she impedes his investigation in anyway.
As if that wasn't enough of a challenge for Annya to deal with, she meets Professor Edmund Beswick, a literature professor who dabbles in magic, and who just happens to have found a powerful Magic Lantern once belonging to the 18th Century phantasmmagorist Anton Dutilleaux. This is where the fun begins as Annja is given assistance by Roux to have Fiona Pioche, a private inquiries specialist, assist her in every way imaginable. For the record, I found Fiona's presence absolutely bloody brilliant and hope that we get to see her again really soon. Searching for the origins and treasure behind the Magic Lantern is said to carry, takes Annya, Fiona, and Beswick from London to Paris and to Shanghai while being chased by dastardly villains Jean-Baptiste LaFramboise and Puyi-Jun.
One of the dangers of being a supporting character introduced in this particular series is that you will either die a horrible death, or Annja will end up walking away from you since her very presence carries inherent dangers that nobody can imagine. In this case, Professor Beswick, as well as Fiona, somehow manages to survive numerous encounters with the bad guys, and helps Annja finally find a treasure that she doesn't have to worry about losing to the likes of Garin Braden, or be betrayed by Roux who is supposed to be her ally.
There are several reasons that I really liked Fiona, besides the fact that she spent nearly 20 years with Roux. She also understands and knows about Joan of Arc's sword. She's not the type of person who is going to try to betray and steal it away from Annya like so many others have tried to do in the past. Just the opposite in fact. Fiona truly believes that Annya and the sword were meant to be together. She also enlightens Annya to the fact that she's come to fully expect extreme violence in her life and Annja rushes in to helping others rather than running away. Another fact that's come to light is that Annya is like a school kid who loves the hell out of hunting for History's hidden treasures and stories and even loves the dangers that it brings.
This book had a lot going for it in that there was non stop action and danger and the fact that Annja actually found someone she could seriously relate to. Shall I just say it, onward and upward to the next book Library of Gold (Rogue Angel #37)!
Author - Alex Archer
Title - Magic Lantern (Rogue Angel # 36)
Publisher - Avon/Gold Eagle
Released - May 1, 2012
Genre - Science Fiction/Fantasy