…by David Liss.
Set in 1722 London, this novel follows the life of the ‘thief-taker’ Benjamin Weaver after he is employed by a dangerous and mysterious man named Cobb. When Weaver fails to fulfill his first task, he comes under the debt of Cobb, and he (Weaver) is forced to infiltrate the East India Company to steal documents and investigate some secrets. Without a clear knowledge of whom he is working for or what he is looking for, Weaver starts his investigation. The rest of the novel is all about what, where, how he goes about finding relevant information and all the obstacles he faces as he tries to uncover the mystery.
This thrilling tale of deception and corporate conspiracy held my interest because of the author’s command over language, the strength of the characters, and the way history and suspense come together to blend into a nice read. The author’s attention to detail is impressive…how he brought alive the 18th century London with his words in the most captivating way is worth a mention. The main character, Weaver, is strong, witty, and very likable…he is the one of the main reasons I loved reading the book.
The tale itself, though, did not intrigue me enough. It wasn’t one of those stories that I had to finish reading as soon as possible to get the mystery revealed / suspense solved. It wasn’t one of those books that left me wanting more every time I stopped reading it. It took me over two weeks to read the book; I read it only during my commute to and from work and I didn’t feel compelled to read it any other time. That is not to say that it was flat in any way – it was an interesting, well-paced story; just not a page turner that I had initially expected it to be.
Overall, I would recommend this is a historic fiction that is appealing for its characters and the elegant writing style of the author, more than the story itself.
My rating: 4*.
*for the rating scale, click here.