Set in London the early 18th century, in the era when financial institutions and paper-based monetary systems were emerging in concept and in fact, this book is part murder-mystery, part-historical novel, with lots of detail on the jewish and financial communities in London, as well as its underworld of fist-fighters, gin joints, pick pockets and prostitutes.
It took me a while to get into it – in addition to the breadth of information provided by way of general backgrounds and settings, the main character is a bit of a mish-mash, and I found it hard to get a feel for him. At times it felt like David Liss was just desparate to fit in everything he’d discovered in doing his research.
That said, in the end, I wanted to know what happened enough to take the novel with me on my trip to India and Nepal! I still couldn’t articulate a snappy description of the book when asked by the Gulf Air stewardess though….
Buy it: Amazon link