Once the toast of good society in Victoria's England, the extraordinary conjurer Edward Moon no longer commands the respect that he did in earlier times. Still, each night he returns to the stage of his theater to amaze his devoted, albeit dwindling, audience, aided by his partner, the Somnambulist - a silent, hairless, hulking giant who, when stabbed, does not bleed. But these are strange, strange times in England, with the oddest of sorts prowling London's dank underbelly. And the very bizarre death of a disreputable actor has compelled a baffled police constabulary to turn once again to Edward Moon for help - inevitably setting in motion events that will shatter his increasingly tenuous grasp on reality.More
"[A] cheeky tale ... salvaged from the sensationalist novels of the past three centuries." (New York Times)
"This superb debut from British author Barnes raises the bar for historical thrillers." (Publishers Weekly)
"[B]rilliant...Barnes crafts one of the finest first novels of the young century...Truly surprising plot twists and red herrings abound." (Austin Chronicle)
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- Tanya Bumstead
Too Contrived and Too Quirky