Victorian-era London, deep down in the sewer systems. The whole book is gross! Gross, gross, gross... but fascinatingly so. You'll read this book in one setting, but then need to wash your hands afterward.
A most unusual Victorian mystery, with Dickensian undertones. In the 1860s a program was underway beneath the streets of London: the labyrinth of sewers was being transformed into an engineering wonder. The building of this marvel of industrialization is the backdrop for a murder; the project is a tale of corruption; the main character is a man damaged by his wartime experiences, in desperate straits, like many of his countrymen. I thought the characters carried this tale as much as the stench and the rats. Not for the squeamish, but splendidly written and fascinating to read.
The underground in Victorian England...No, not the subway; the sewers! This murder mystery takes place in the dirtier side of London, not the elegant Victorian England we mostly read about. We meet characters who live in the in the seedy portions of London and who work below ground in the sewers. It's a side of London I've not heard about before. The story is told mostly in a narrative style as opposed to lots of dialogue; but, once I got used to the style, it was a fun read. An introduction to the sewers of London and a good murder mystery.
It's part mystery, mainly historical novel, and strangely compelling. Set in Victorian London, it brings to vivid and degrading life the lot of that era's urban poor. Yes, it is somewhat dark and rank, as are the lives of its characters. Personally, I found it horrifying that studying the history of that era had given me no real sense of what these people were forced to do and endure simply to survive. Not a cheering, lighthearted read for sure, but you somehow can't put it down....except at the dinner table, of course.
This book caught me off-guard; I did not think I'd want to read it, and did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did! It was very atmospheric, and the storyline moved along at a great pace. I could not put the book down, and at some points, felt I was crawling out of my skin to know what would happen next.
Victorian England is the backdrop for two engaging narratives that become intertwined. Interesting historical background of engineering sewer system that made London the most progressive city of its time.
This is a very well-written and well-researched story that overindulges in descriptions of setting. If you like that (I dont), youll appreciate the vivid squalor and foulness. The plot has the substance of a short storydragged out to a few hundred pages of, essentially, backdrop for the description. It is Dickens without the characterization, narrative, and humor.
Great historical fiction!!