The Bridge of Dead Things

Rated 4.82/5 based on 11 reviews
Murky Victorian London. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Blaylock has done her best to fill her absconding mother’s shoes, but her father is lazy and feckless, and her little sister is riddled with tuberculosis. When Lizzie has a fit at school, for which she is expelled, she and those around her slowly begin to realize that she may have special powers…powers to communicate with the dead. More

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About Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. “Send for Octavius Guy” chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. “The Involuntary Medium” follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift.
For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time. Follow Octavius Guy @sendforOctavius. Author photo courtesy of Elaine Jeffs.

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The Involuntary Medium
Praise for the series "The Involuntary Medium"

About the Series: The Involuntary Medium
When thirteen-year-old Lizzie Blaylock starts having fits, she and those around her slowly begin to realize that she may have special powers…powers to communicate with the dead.

Also in Series: The Involuntary Medium

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Reviews

Alasdair Muckersie reviewed on Oct. 27, 2019

Michael Gallagher is a superb storyteller.
This book is intriguing, mesmerising and totally enthralling; full of mystery, excitement, wit and poignancy in equal measure; packed with wonderful characters and dialogue, as ever, in an authentic Victorian setting.
As with all his books, I could easily see this remarkable tale being adapted for a television audience.
A thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read.
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)
AL Faulkenberry reviewed on Oct. 5, 2019

I had the pleasure of stumbling across Michael on Twitter when I was looking for some writers to support with a #writerlift once I read and review their books. I also had the privilege of chatting with him a few times as I was reading the book. These are my thoughts on the book:

This book is very well written. It grabs the readers attention from the very beginning and keeps them guessing even on the last page. Having just finished this exciting, suspenseful, historical mystery, I am already ready for book 2! Lucky for me, I can pick it up and start reading now!

A few things that were interesting to me about the book:
1. There are several times where the author doesn't give everything away, the read is left to their imagination to figure out what actually happened. This is a lot of fun to me and I enjoyed sitting there guessing what it was all about.

2. Though the story is about "powers" and connecting to people who have already died, there is a seemingly always present Christian undertone to the story. References to God and the church are made on several occasions. It was nice to see this included in a book about a topic that many Christians dismiss as being impossible, communicating with the dead.

3. Unexpected twists were never in short supply. I was amazed at the creativity and the thought process and even when I thought I had everything figured out, the ending still shocked me and left me wanting more!

The characters are fantastic and their descriptions allow the readers to almost visibly see the characters standing in front of them as actors on a stage. The descriptions of the world make the reader feel like they have stepped back in time.

Overall, it is a fantastic book written by a very creative mind. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes mystery, historical fiction, surprise twists, good writing, and realistic characters.

Thanks, Michael, for the opportunity to read and review your book!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
Anita Dow reviewed on Aug. 19, 2019

This is the second series by Michael Gallagher that I have begun reading. I was slightly concerned that it would not measure up to the 'Send For Octavius Guy' 3 book series that I read in quick succession and adored. I was not at all disappointed in 'The Bridge Of Dead Things' - the first in 'The Involuntary Medium' series. Don't be put off by the title - it is cleverly explained in the unusual and entertaining plot. Michael Gallagher does a brilliant job as the voice of the somewhat reluctant teenage medium Lizzie Blaylock who finds herself pulled into the growing Victorian fascination for seances and the paranormal. A memorable cast of characters had me hooked early on and I will definitely want to read the second book. If you like a cosy mystery with a historical setting I'm sure you will enjoy this absorbing story with a neat ending.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
bontheia richardson reviewed on March 31, 2019

I loved it! The story of Lizzie was extremely descriptive and the historical details are very well researched. I read most of the book in one night simply because I couldn't put it down and when I finally did it was five a.m. Wonderfully haunting and exciting it receives five stars from me and I fully intend to read more of Michael's books.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Caron Rider reviewed on March 8, 2016

This was a really nice read. I hesitated when I realized the protagonist was 13 but after checking out the sample, was interested enough to buy. It was interesting with a fresh plot, just enough historical detail, and with a satisfying ending. I understand there's a sequel but this book felt fully formed and ended well.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Monica Fellowes reviewed on Jan. 14, 2014

Eliza Blaylock, Lizzie, is having a rough time. Her dad's been fired; her sister has tuberculosis; she just had some sort of fit at school for which she's getting kicked out and having to start working. When she has another fit, slowly she and those around her begin to realize that she may have special powers to communicate with the dead.

While not action packed, it's not exactly that kind of story. There are parts containing a good deal of action, but this is a primarily character driven story.

A good deal of background and detail, sometimes subtle detail, go into developing the characters and narrative throughout the tale.

Scenery is time appropriate and described with flair.

Without giving too much plot away, I will just say this, the underlying mysteries/dilemmas are interwoven nicely.

Overall, a fun read.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Stephen Heskin reviewed on Nov. 25, 2013

I read this in one sitting. I found it captivating and exciting.

Lizzie is an intriguing protagonist - well realised.
The London described felt real and story was quite thrilling.

And more to the point, the story felt complete - no loose ends!!
But my appetite was whetted for further adventures and am relieved that the sequel is ready. yeah!!!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Larabird reviewed on Nov. 3, 2013

The events described here in this most fascinating story of Lizzie, our young Victorian heroine, reflects the beliefs of an age when anything supernatural could happen and did. Do read this and stretch your imagination. It's a wonderful tale of a young girl's 'powers' and will stay in your memory for a long time. The ending isn't an ending - more is to come
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Paula Fetty-King reviewed on Oct. 5, 2013

I originally picked this book up looking for a ghost tale. What I got was a fantastically detailed historical fiction novel ~ rich with period details from 1800 London, colorful characters, AND a very gripping ghostly tale. This book was branded YA, which I could see since the protagonist is a young girl (13 or 14), but beware ~ this is no 'love triangle' YA book, or 'OMG, I just had my first kiss' kind of YA. This is a well written, entertaining story about a young girl who has powers she doesn't understand. As usual with the young and naive, there are always those looking to exploit. I especially detested the 'wolf in sheep's clothing' in this story, and could not have been happier with the outcome they found for themselves. The haunting mystery in this book, drew me in and I was very satisfied when given answers to ALMOST all the questions swimming around my mind. I was both shocked and pleased to find this book to be only the first in a series, so I am eager to get my hands on the second installment.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, or a good thriller. Read this book, you will not be disappointed.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Donna R reviewed on June 26, 2013

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was eerie but not horrifying which was a plus for me. I enjoyed the quality of the medium's gift; not too fantastical or cheap. The characters and storyline were well developed and came together nicely by the end of the book. I would definitely recommend this book!
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
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