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Jonathan Barne's debut novel, The Somnambulist, is a Gothic Horror/Mystery/Fantasy set sometime in the late Victorian period. The story follows washed-up magician and amateur detective, Edward Moon, as well his companion, The Somnambulist, on their journey to solve their first truly big case in quite some time. What seems to start out as a simple murder, however, is soon revealed to be part of a larger conspiracy that could destroy all of London. There also also several subplots, including a top secret organization known as The Directorate, Edward's sister, his former pupil, as well as a man who lives backwards in time, and is hinted to be the first king of London. Only some are explained in detail. A sequel, The Domino Men, was published a few years later.
Anyone Can Die: Not counting Honeyman or Dunbar, there are a staggering amount of casualties in this book: The Human Fly, Mr. Skimpole, The Somnambulist, Arthur Barge and Mrs. Puggsley, just to name a few.
Bald of Awesome: The Somnambulist is starkly bald, but his pride has him wear a wig when in public.
Bar Brawl: The fight in the opium den is a minor example.
Batman Gambit: Like you wouldn't believe. And for possibly the stupidest reason such a gambit has been enacted. Incompetence causes you to dig yourself into the sewers while trying to rob a bank and you get caught by Moon. Obviously the solution to heal your wounded ego is start a cult, stage an elaborate setup of murders, ruin an entire section of London's secret service, resurrect a dead man a la Frankenstein and launch an assault on the city.
Bittersweet Ending: The forces of Pantisocracy are beaten and Dr. Tang is arrested. However, the Somnambulist is dead, Charlotte, Grossmith and Speight are Pantisocrats, leaving Edward with no one but Dr. Tang to talk to. Add in the high body count left in the wake, as well as the fact that the Prefects are still on the lam...
Evil Plan: Left ambiguous for much of the film. It's revealed near the end that the Reverend Dr. Tan wishes to kill most of London's population in order to start over and reclaim the country for the ideals of Pantisocracy.
Informed Ability: Near the beginning, it's hinted at that Moon might actually be a real magician, instead of a mere illusionist. After one scene, however, nothing he does afterward seems to indicate that he has supernatural powers.
It Is Beyond Saving: Averted. Reverend Dr. Tan believes that London can be saved, but only if the majority of its citizens are killed.
Jerkass: Edward Moon and Mr. Skimpole, as well as several minor characters.
Karma Houdini: The Prefects simply disappear from the conflict. The sequel double subverts this; at first it seems that they're in prison, but it's later revealed this is done merely by choice.
Police Are Useless: Played with; the police are shown to be capable of solving simple cases, but need Edward's help to solve the murder of Cyril Honeyman. Eventually subverted with Merryweather and the other police helping to hold back the forces of Love, Love, Love and Love.
Politically Correct History: Averted; there's a lot of sexism, racism and cruel treatment of "freaks" running as an undercurrent throughout the novel.