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Drood by Dan Simmons
Drood is narrated by Wilkie Collins, a friend, fellow writer, and jealous rival of Charles Dickens. In 1865, Dickens was traveling with his mistress when he was involved in the famous Staplehurst train accident. Stumbling among the dead and dying, Dickens encounters a mysterious man named Drood. Afterward, Dickens and Wilkins try to find the mysterious Drood, trying to ascertain whether he's a mastermind serial killer or mesmerist. Dickens' obsession changes his behaviors in the final years of his life as he explores the seamier sides of London in an attempt to find some answers. Dan Simmons' novel has received mostly positive reviews with the St. Petersburg Times saying, "In Drood, Dan Simmons has created a classic ghost story modeled along Victorian lines, one featuring a first-rate villain in Drood, the Lord of London's Undertown, a literal city beneath the city. Simmons withholds little in imagining the mesmeric hold his Drood, Dickens and Collins hold over one another, and in the process he creates a world entire, fully realized and fun. Drood is erudite and engaging entertainment."