A NoveleBook - 2014
An astonishing debut of epic scope and suspense, The Quick conjures up magic and menace in Victorian London's elegant drawing rooms and its dark, dangerous alleyways. A rich feast for lovers of the novels of Sarah Waters, The Night Circus, and The Crimson Petal and the White.
London, 1893: James Norbury is a shy would-be poet who takes up lodgings with a young man from the upper echelons of society and soon finds love where he least expected it. Just when it seems he is on the cusp of true happiness, James disappears.
His sister Charlotte, who lives quietly near the crumbling country estate where they grew up, is determined to find out what happened. Charlotte is horrified at what she discovers, but love spurs on her efforts to save her brother from an unthinkable fate. Her quest leads both to the mysterious, centuries-old Aegolius Club, and to a crowded, chaotic neighbourhood where she encounters unforgettable characters, including a female rope-walker turned vigilante and a former slum priest who share a heartbreaking secret, and a young American who chooses decency, or perhaps something more tender, over his own safety. With them, readers are caught up in the breathtaking climax to an ancient battle being fought within a secret world hiding in plain sight, in the middle of the great city of London itself.
As emotionally gripping as it is suspenseful, The Quick heralds Lauren Owen as a dazzling new literary talent.
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