Thomas’s witty sixth Victorian thriller featuring private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker (after 2008’s The Black Hand) provides welcome glimpses of Barker’s early life. As a 12-year-old in strife-torn China, Barker trusted Sebastian Nightwine—a British Army officer Barker met after the death of his missionary parents—with his older brother’s life, and he was betrayed. Within hours of Nightwine’s return to London, after years abroad, clues planted near the body of a murdered lord implicate Barker in the crime. Barker flees, dodging through London just steps ahead of Scotland Yard while seeking evidence to exonerate himself. Meanwhile, Barker’s assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, encounters a violent gang and a beautiful assassin, both acting at Nightwine’s command. It takes all of the two agents’ considerable ingenuity to keep pace with this remorseless opponent in a battle full of surprises to the end. Readers will relish the appealing characters, clever twists, and colorful vision of late 19th-century London. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014 Release date: 05/13/2014 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.