Benjamin Weaver is awaiting death in Newgate gaol. Mysteriously convicted for a murder he didn't commit by a judge determined to see him hang, he is suddenly - and equally mysteriously - offered the means to escape. What, you may well ask, is going on? It's a question Weaver asks of himself as he slinks out into the London night on a mission to ...
Benjamin Weaver is awaiting death in Newgate gaol. Mysteriously convicted for a murder he didn't commit by a judge determined to see him hang, he is suddenly - and equally mysteriously - offered the means to escape. What, you may well ask, is going on? It's a question Weaver asks of himself as he slinks out into the London night on a mission to clear his name. In doing so, he steps straight into a labyrinthine plot that weaves, like Benjamin, across eighteenth century London. For the conspiracy against him is part of a grimmer and gaudier picture: one that encompasses double-dealings and dockworkers, the extorting of a priest - and a looming election with the potential to spark a revolution and topple the monarchy. Handily, Weaver is a private investigator. He's also an ex-pugilist, which is also a good thing when it comes to punching his weight in the 'polite' society of plotters and politicians, power-brokers, crime lords, assassins and spies. At the apex of which sits, rather precariously, a recent import from Hanover: The King.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-01-05 This sequel to Liss's Edgar Award-winning A Conspiracy of Paper (2000) brings back ex-pugilist Benjamin Weaver and his 18th-century London environs in all their squalid glory. Benjamin has become a "thieftaker," a sort of bounty hunter/private eye, and is investigating the simple case of a threatening letter when he is caught up in a riot, accused of murder and sentenced to hang. After a gutsy escape, he sets about unraveling the mystery of who framed him and why. Donning the disguise of a wealthy coffee planter from Jamaica, Benjamin infiltrates the upper classes, where he encounters a plot centering on a hotly contested House of Commons election. There is much explanation (perhaps too much) of the history and philosophies of the Whig, Tory and Jacobite parties, but this is nicely balanced with Benjamin's forays into London's underbelly, where he has his way with the ladies and dodges dangerous louts looking to kill him. The real fun is the re-creation of the streets of London ("He fell into the alley's filth-the kennel of emptied chamber pots, bits of dead dogs gnawed on by hungry rats, apple cores and oyster shells") and the colorful denizens thereof. Many hours are spent in innumerable coffeehouses, with Benjamin and company imbibing coffee, chocolate, ale, wine and that great destroyer of the poor, rotgut gin, and employing such useful swear words as "shitten stick," "arse pot" and "bum firking." Mystery and mainstream readers with a taste for gritty historical fiction will relish Liss's glorious dialogue, lively rogues, fascinating setting and indomitable hero. (Mar.) Forecast: The many readers who loved Liss's first book have been eagerly awaiting a sequel. Booksellers can recommend both of the Benjamin Weaver books to those who enjoy Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding mystery series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.