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The seamy underside of society in all its 'glory',
This review is from: A Factory Of Cunning (Paperback)
Fleeing scandal in pre-Revolutionary Paris and then again from Amsterdam, a French `lady' and her maid, Victoire, arrive in London. Once settled into their lodgings, the Marquise (under the newly assumed name of Mrs Fox) sets about insinuating herself into the city's high society. They have been in flight from notoriety and scandal abroad, and this time they hope they might actually escape the past and start afresh. Well, that is the plan on the surface but despite the respectable facade she presents to the world, London's seamy underworld of decadence and prostitution is soon drawn to Mrs Fox's particular brand of immorality.
The majority of the novel is told through Mrs Fox's voice, which is articulate and irreverent but also provides a very clear picture of all the characters. To an extent, they're all just pawns in Mrs Fox's game, but they're all drawn as complete characters in and of themselves, too. Stockley's vivid characterisation and playful humour ensure the story always moves on quickly and keeps the reader engaged throughout. Although the plot is complex, it's told with such a sense of fun that you don't really notice all of the groundwork that has been laid until it all starts being tied together. You won't be able to predict this one, although you might be able to guess who wins! Fans of `Fingersmith' by Sarah Waters will not be disappointed.