With games, drink and,entertainment, The Morning Star puts on a travelling show eight carriages strong, a respite for hard working folks who crave a distraction from daily monotony. If you have it, money can be fluttered on a hand of cards or roll of dice, encouraged on by the employed showgirls. They know all too well what it takes for men to loosen their purse strings and lose a week’s earnings on an overzealous bluff. The various performances the group parades are incredible. The generated buzz, even more so.
Few remember its predecessor, The Gamblers Den. It was identical in venture and reduced to an urban legend since its disappearance two years ago. It was inevitable that a copycat would take its place.
But this is not a show the people remember, nor is it delivered by a person they recall.
For starters, Franco Del Monaire is nowhere to be found. The owner, and host of the Morning Star is a masked woman referred to only as The Hare, who keeps the business tightly organised. The games take in plenty and the spectacle provided is cherished for months after. On the surface, it seems like an idilyic business.
Beneath the surface however, The Hare is facing difficulties. For starters, the woman in her employment are bordering on a mutiny. Their latest addition, a quaint little songbird called Elizabeth is sneaking through carriages for evidence of shady dealings. Every stop the train makes results in a number of high profile arrests days later. The newswire is abuzz and Elizabeth speculates that the law is chasing them. Then there’s the mystery surrounding the permanently off limits, and locked up, carriage number six…
Den of Shadows is published by HQ Digital, an imprint of HarperCollins.