‘[A] rollicking read…Wonderfully melodramatic and well-written. The story is told over some 700 pages, and yet not a word feels wasted.’
By GaslightSteven Price
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA ENDEAVOUR HISTORICAL DAGGER AWARD 2017*
LONDON 1885 – A woman’s body is discovered on Edgware Road. Ten miles away, her head is pulled from the dark muddy waters of the Thames. For two men, this event will push them to the very brink.
DETECTIVE WILLIAM PINKERTON – ‘Thirty-nine years old, already famous and already lonely’. In an attempt to solve this case, he must descend into the seedy, gas-lit streets, opium dens, sewers and séance halls of Victorian London.
ADAM FOOLE – A gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. What he learns from his lover’s fate will force him to confront a past, and a grief, he thought long buried.
‘Entertaining…as vast as the three-decker Victorian novels it so cleverly echoes’.
‘[A] darkly mesmerising tale worthy of any of the great Victorian thriller writers.’
‘For long winter evenings…By Gaslight seems like an excellent choice’.
‘Guaranteed to grip.’
‘Rich in characterisation and description as well as evidently well-researched material.’
‘Reads like a resurrected Conan Doyle has created a high-quality thriller for a Sky Atlantic series… breathtakingly atmospheric.’
‘A formidable mystery.’
‘I found myself returning to passages . . . because I wanted to revisit the somber music of the telling. . . Spinning fiction out of fact, Price creates an evocative world, cast not in shades of stark black and white, but rather in morally complex herringbone . . . [R]aw and beautiful . . . always expressing the complexities of the human heart. . . By Gaslight can be seen as Arthur Conan Doyle by way of Dickens by way of Faulkner. Intense, London-centric, threaded through with a melancholy brilliance, it is an extravagant novel that takes inspiration from the classics and yet remains wholly itself.’
‘Canadian poet Price turns to fiction with this lively visitation to the foggy streets of Victorian Blighty…the story is utterly Sherlock-ian – read Moriarty for Shade and Irene Adler for Reckitt – and postmodernly so, full of sly nods and winks and allusions. If it is derivative in the bargain, Conan Doyle by way of Nicholas Meyer and Benedict Cumberbatch, then Price's yarn is also a lot of fun. Fans of steampunk and Victorian detective fiction alike will enjoy Price's continent-hopping romp in time.’
‘A postmodern take on noir mysteries…The real highlight of the novel, though, is the mesmerizing writing style, which is difficult to decipher but lyrically rewarding and intensely evocative of setting and character. Intense, frustrating, and magical, this fragmented, paradoxical suspense story will appeal to particular readers who love Dickens or who relish the complexities of Martin Seay’s The Mirror Thief and David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet.’
‘Steven Price has done a daring thing: taken a long, complex, but utterly fascinating 19th Century crime tale and applied to it the rules of modern mystery writing. The result is something unique, but it is his gift for unraveling a terrific yarn, in whatever manner, that shines through. Do not be daunted by length: give this book a try.’