I read this approx 5 years ago but I couldn't say if it was newly published back then; it was a hardback from a UK library.

I can't recall too much of the story, the only thing that sticks in my mind are these scene(s)...

There are two entities from a dark dimension, they are constrained by magical barriers and have been like that for decades.

They have adopted the personae of two English public school Prefects and spend all their time in a 'study' where they are always drinking tea and talking like 1950's schoolboys.

As I recall, there was a great fear of these two Prefects ever breaking the barriers and being loose upon the world. They were used as a source of information by the protagonists.

I want to say author Robert Rankin or Charles Stross, I have a few books by those gentlemen but sadly none with the story memories.

  • Was it a full novel or a shot-story in a collection?
    – mhhollomon
    Mar 31, 2019 at 23:40
  • I think full length
    – Danny Mc G
    Apr 1, 2019 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


You are definitely looking for The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes! The goodreads blurb describes your villains as "serial-killing schoolboy twins." The book overall is pretty solid urban fantasy with an added dose of cosmic horror. The Prefects are terrifyingly casual throughout, and the narrator expresses how unnerving he finds it that they speak only in ridiculous out-of-date slang while wearing knickerbockers. It seemed to me like an homage to Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee.

If you were thinking of a book set in a less contemporary time, "The Somnambulist" by the same author also features the Prefects, if on a smaller scale. That is slightly more steampunk than urban fantasy, but still worth reading.

  • Thanks, this is definitely the book I was after...the system tells me I can't give you the bonus points for another 16 hours, I just tried.
    – Danny Mc G
    Apr 1, 2019 at 5:12
  • 1
    No worries. Honestly, I just like that I got to recommend these books- they're pretty neat. Apr 1, 2019 at 13:12
  • I've now got the trilogy as ebooks. Cheers. Also the Bonus has been awarded to you.
    – Danny Mc G
    Apr 2, 2019 at 3:02
  • Thanks! I didn't know there was a third book. Guess I'll add that to my list! Apr 2, 2019 at 3:04
  • He has three books that are known as the 'Victoriana' series. The third is titled Cannonbridge. There seems to be very little connection amongst them
    – Danny Mc G
    Apr 2, 2019 at 13:54

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