I loved this book. Couldn't put it down and collided with a number of trees whilst walking to work, kindle firmly in hand, totally absorbed in Victorian London. The city came alive in a way that only Dickens or Wilkie Collins had conjured up for me before although Sarah Waters had a good stab at it. Quinn has an ear for dialogue and a command of vocabulary reminiscent (in a non naval way) of Patrick O'Brian.
Reflecting on it, however, I have to say that unlike Dickens the characters are, whilst not quite one dimensional, somewhat difficult to see from the side. Paradoxically they are described in a Dickensian manner, just not drawn with as much love or detail - a sketch rather than an oil or even a watercolour. The plot is sound and has been laid out in a little too much detail elsewhere but the naïveté of the country bumpkin is a little tenacious for my taste. The build up to the denouement is shockingly delayed and brief, the actual event, like so many things in life, is over all too quickly- in summary the pace is inconsistent. Furthermore, there are minor loose ends at the end of the book which I generally would find intensely irritating, yet here they add to the veracity of the tale.
It has great charm and I strongly recommend it.