After "The Long Earth
" I had fretted about "Dodger", but I needn't have worried as it is superb.
As I started to read I could feel the stress draining from my body and (I am told) I sat with a contented look on my face. Ah yes, the power of the Pratchett.
Dodger is a "tosher" a person who searches the sewer system for the gems that fall into the toilet and end up being flushed, along with the coins and other bits and pieces that fall out of people's pockets ... he can earn more than a chimney sweeps boy, but without the soot.
One night, during a storm, Dodger comes to the rescue of a young woman who is being attacked by two men. During this rescue he meets a pair of reporters one by the name of Charlie Dickens and his friend Henry Mayhew (editor of Punch magazine) also come to the rescue, but Dodger, having grown up on the streets, doesn't trust these posh adults with this young woman and decides to become her protector.
On the way we, and they, meet Angela Coots (member of the banking family), Robert Peel (head of the police), Benjamin Disraeli (Prime Minister), and one Mr Sweeney Todd, along with more historical characters (real and ficticious).
Someone wants the young woman (known as Simplicity) dead, and Dodger and his new acquaintances must find out who it is and why.
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Sir Terry is back to his best.