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Gary Genard
Red Season
Gary Genard, author

A tale of obsession, murder, and the supernatural. Scotland Yard police surgeon and detective Dr. William Scarlet must use his psychic ability to track down a vicious serial killer. — Book 1 in the Dr. William Scarlet Mystery Series. 

June, 1887. It’s Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and the entire country is celebrating. Until the murders begin. First, the madam of a brothel. Next, a private detective—whose mutilated body contains a message. Then children start disappearing, all of them vanishing from the streets at dusk. And a handsome young artist who is the toast of the art world begins to go mad.

For Scotland Yard police surgeon and psychic William Scarlet, the cases begin to reveal mysterious links to each other. And why do all of his nightmares contain the same frightening vision: a river of blood?

With its glimpse of Victorian London at the height of its Golden Age, chilling plot twists, and portrait of a city gripped by fear, Red Season features the debut of a unique and unforgettable detective.

Genard’s standout fiction debut follows Dr. William Scarlet, surgeon for Scotland Yard in the Golden Age of Queen Victoria’s reign, and man with a secret: he possesses psychic abilities that allow him to glimpse the darkest hearts roaming the streets of London. With just one touch, Scarlet can expose the horrific fate of victims and their killers, a talent that lands him in the spotlight when children start disappearing from London after dark. As the crimes escalate, the supernatural seems to gain in power as well, sparking all manner of intriguing happenings: a séance plunges its participants into visions of snakes and rivers of blood, sleepwalking hints at something darker, and madness abounds.

The blend of mystery, history, and something possibly beyond our ken is enticing. Scarlet, a member of the wonderfully named Society for Supernatural and Psychic Research, is quickly bonded to this like-minded group of gentlemen desperate to solve the horrific crimes. Those crimes, tantalizingly, seem to coordinate with sundown and the moon’s patterns each month, prompting Scarlet and his trusted colleague, Django Pierce-Jones, to initiate a perilous investigation that will please lovers of supernatural-adjacent suspense as the heroes find themselves in the crosshairs of evil from both sides of the veil.

Genard’s cast of characters is rich and engaging enough to build a series upon, including the famous (and slightly pompous) artist Ambrose Reed, a widower who has found love again with fiancée Elizabeth Wilson, as well as Elizabeth's elder sister, Catherine, unmarried and independent, strong of mind and opinion. Added to the mix are Mrs. Bain, the mysterious older woman who woos Ambrose away from Elizabeth, and the late Mary Reed, Ambrose's deceased wife. Genard’s protagonist is both kind and rebellious, unable to stop using his powers as long as they bring peace and aid the public, and his humane use of his powers will endear him to readers—while keeping them eager to see his future adventures.

Takeaway: Scotland Yard faces séances, murder, and the possibly supernatural.

Comparable Titles: Michael Ward’s Rags of Time, T. L. Huchu’s The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A