- About the Book
A literary tour de force of a detective's ceaseless hunt for an elusive criminalLondon, 1885. Three years before the Whitechapel killings, London is a city of fog and darkness. A severed head is dredged from the Thames; ten miles away, a woman's body is discovered on Edgeware Road. The famed American detective William Pinkerton is summoned by Scotland Yard to investigate. The dead woman fits the description of a grifter Pinkerton had been pursuing for a long time--someone he believed would lead him to a man he has been hunting since his father's death. Edward Shade is an industrialist without a past, a fabled con, a thief of other men's futures--he seems a ghost, a man of smoke. The obsessive hunt for him that began in the last days of the Civil War becomes Pinkerton's inheritance. What follows is an epic journey of secrets, deceit, and betrayals. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Shade, the one criminal he cannot outwit.Steven Price's "By Gaslight" is a riveting, atmospheric portrait of a man on the brink. Moving from the diamond mines of South Africa to the fog-enshrouded streets of Victorian London, the novel is a journey into a cityscape of grief, trust, and its breaking, where what we share can bind us even against our better selves.
If you loved big, atmospheric period mysteries such as Charles Palliser's The Quincunx or Caleb Carr's The Alienist, here is a novel with similar hypnotic qualities. By Gaslight draws in and magically transports the reader, as if by time machine, to another world. Price mesmerizingly blends history and imagination in a monster of a novel - some 750 pages - filled with the lurid, Dickensian realities of a great world capital.... Price drives his narrative at a leisurely yet relentless pace, segueing with ease to the characters' recent past, and even further back to the American Civil War, as more and more secrets are uncovered.... Price's writing style, with idiosyncratic punctuation eschewing quotation marks and most commas, is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy.
—Dallas Morning News
—Dallas Morning News