An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London
1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural world populated by unforgettable characters: A female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling "Doctor Knife". But the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.
In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction's most dazzling talents.
Named one of the Top-10 Literary Fiction Books of the Season by Publishers Weekly
"Seductive . . . extraordinarily polished . . . [Owen] packs many surprises into her tale, making it a book for readers to lose themselves in." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
"A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist." (Kate Atkinson, bestselling author of Life After Life and Case Histories)
"A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre . . . As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin. It's a skilled, assured performance, and it's hard to believe it is a first novel." (Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies)
"Ambitious, elegant, atmospheric, and often deeply poignant, The Quick is a seamless blend of Victorian London and rich imagination. This is a book to savor." (Tana French, bestselling author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor)
"The book's energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the 'unputdownable' novel." (The Economist)
"An elegantly written gothic epic . . . Owen's soaring imagination and her light-handed take on magic save this story from being either obvious or boring. . . . The journey from one genre to another is satisfying and surprisingly fresh." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Not my cup of tea
28 chapters before this book sings
- Valerie O