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Detective thriller set in Victorian times – wordy and interesting

By Gaslight - Steven Price



This long novel (731 pages) by Steven Price deals with William Pinkerton , the American detective, in London investigating the death of someone that he was pursuing and encountering a few important characters with different agendas. A heist, murder, betrayal all form part of the plot. The novel is rich in characterisation and description as well as evidently well-researched material. The following passage gives a good example: “”They had brushed by rampsmen with tankards asway, maltoolers with their fly forks fumbling the skirts of bonnet girls, they had glimpsed a child with a malformed spine grinding an organ on a low stage in a corner but they had not slowed.” I know that I reached for the dictionary a few times! The language is literary, even poetic in places (given that the author has already published poetry) and the depiction of 19th century London is full and elaborate. I do object however to the lack of speech marks and the sparse use of commas – which sometimes makes reading this novel challenging. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.