Mystery/Thriller, Series

Review: Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne – The Naturalist #2

The second novel in The Naturalist series about a professor who uses his scientific knowledge to solve crimes


Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.


I remember reading The Naturalist, and not enjoying it too much. However, I wanted to see where the story would continue in this second book. Let’s just say I’m glad I gave this series another shot! Here is my review:

Looking Glass (The Naturalist #2) book cover

Looking Glass (The Naturalist #2)

by Andrew Mayne

Published February 13, 2018 by Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Naturalist
ISBN: 1542047994

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): Professor Theo Cray caught one of the most prolific serial killers in history using revolutionary scientific methods. Cut off from university research because of the shroud of suspicion around him after the death of his former student and the aftermath of catching his quarry, Cray tries to rebuild his life but finds himself drawn into another unsolved case.

The desperate father of a missing child, ignored by the authorities and abandoned by his community, turns to Theo for help. The only clues are children’s drawings and an inner-city urban legend about someone called the Toy Man.

To unravel the mystery behind the Toy Man, Theo must set aside his scientific preconceptions and embrace a world where dreams and nightmares carry just as much weight as reality. As he becomes immersed in the case, he discovers a far-reaching conspiracy—one that hasn’t yet claimed its last victim.

My Review

To say that this book was better than its predecessor would be an understatement. Where The Naturalist was just okay for me, this novel was a lot more intriguing! This novel makes enough references to The Naturalist that it isn’t completely necessary for the reader to have read the first book. However, I would strongly urge readers to do so because it gives you a better idea of what kind of story you are getting into.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • I liked Theo’s character a lot more this time than previously. Maybe it was because he had already gone through one harrowing experience and was making smarter decisions this time around when it came to the authorities. Maybe it was his smartass comments. Either way, it was great.
  • There was a ton of action but everything flowed and made sense. There were a couple of times where I was caught off guard and needed to reread something, but it was quite interesting.
  • There is a fair amount of scientific jargon but it’s presented in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand, and it is only given when necessary. I admire how well researched the ideas for this book are and I liked how it naturally flowed with the plot of the story.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • I wish the other characters in this story had held up as well as Theo did. Granted, they play minor roles compared to Theo, but it would have been nice to get more of a feel for them and have them less cookie-cutter.
  • The ending was a tiny bit disappointing, but since the journey was enjoyable, I wasn’t too miffed about it.

Overall, I found this novel to be engaging and fast-paced, with a good story line and a very interesting main character. It wasn’t perfect, but I definitely enjoyed reading it. Solid 3/5 stars!

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