Keene and the Last Guardian
by Robert Harkess.
Something foul scurries through the streets of Victorian England, clicking and ticking as it goes. There are metal men, hidden in plain sight but with darkness in their cold mechanical minds, coerced into a cruel travesty of life at the hands of a technomancer.
George Wheeler, one-time Church Investigator of things forbidden, is approached by past colleagues from the Metropolitan Police; the dark rumours associated with these unnerving machines needs to be investigated and quickly, but they prefer not to dirty their hands with anything too fantastical.
Together with Keene, a young forthright man with a dubious history but an old trusted friend of his son, and Alfie – a plucky and resourceful apprentice at Mainwaring’s Mechanical Servants, Wheeler’s investigations plunge him into a cruel and violent world of which he wants no part, dealing with forces he refuses to accept, yet knowing this is not something he can walk away from.