'Lempriere's Dictionary' is a fascinating novel, tying together many seemingly separate plots, and encompassing genres from the romantic, through the gothic, to the fantastic. The Lempriere's are a family with a dark history, a treasonous agreement valid in perpetuity haunts successive generations. Norfolk ties the mystery of the Lempriere's with a story of corruption at the heart of the East India Company, assassinations, strange deaths, and uncertain romance. Lempriere slaves away at a classical dictionary in order to purge his addled psyche, while revolution is afoot in France, in London, and above it all flies the charred figure of the Sprite of La Rochelle... The book is so spellbinding, that I felt sad once I had finished it, as if it's world had died. For this reason, don't borrow the book from a library, as you won't want to return it. Instead, shell out for your own copy, and I guarantee it will be on your bedside table in perpetuity.
Lawrence Norfolk is a brilliant novelist, and his books are complex, fascinating, full of energy, and intensely enjoyable. I recommend that you buy this and his earlier book, 'The Pope's Rhinocerous', a similarly good read.