"Building on his two previous titles set in the early 1900s (The Detroit Electric Scheme, 2010, and Motor City Shakedown, 2011), Johnson’s latest suspense novel finds maimed Will Anderson and his lover and former opiate addict, Elizabeth Hume, facing their personal nightmares as they track a strangler known as the Phantom.
The trail leads to Eloise Hospital, an asylum for the insane, the tubercular, and the inconvenient, where Elizabeth’s cousin, Robert, is a patient. After Robert is falsely accused of the Phantom’s latest murder, Will and Elizabeth hatch an elaborate plan to infiltrate the asylum, nab the Phantom, and release Robert from the “Hole” (solitary confinement). While exposing his characters to sadistic doctors, violent orderlies, and chaotic, frightening madness, Johnson ratchets up the tension as the killer repeatedly eludes capture.
The Phantom’s unmasking is such a shock that readers will wonder if Elizabeth and Will can ever recover. As suspenseful and twisted as Lehane’s Shutter Island (2003) and Lavalle’s The Devil in Silver (2012), this taut historical thriller is a definite winner."