Top positive review
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A dark, daring and delightful tale
on 19 January 2014
A rather dark but atmospheric romantic thriller (with an element of espionage thrown in) set in Victorian London during the construction of Brunel's Great Eastern vessel (hence the title `Leviathan'). The story could have become diluted due to the excellent description and setting of the Great Eastern shipyard, but the construction of this great vessel remains in the background as the story unfolds and does not overshadow the plot. Colourful and believable characters spring into the imagination as the plot unfolds. Locations within London are well researched and appropriate to the period in which the story unfolds.
The main characters are Dr Jonathan Silver (who is wrongly sentenced to death because of the murder of his wife), Elisa Saltash (a delightfully determined rogue and thief with a very sophisticated alter ego) who engineers his escape from Newgate Prison on the evening before his execution and the enigmatic Miss Amy McLennan (an intriguing friend acquired post-escape, who works in a hostel for fallen women). Interestingly, the detective in the story, Sergeant Charlie Sparrow, who is both clever and deductive is deserving of a story (or stories) where he is the central or main character (rather like Morse or Lewis).
The settings and life in Victorian London is wonderfully described. The relentless detective work of Sergeant Sparrow leads one to imagine that there can be only one final outcome, but there is a wonderful twist in the ending.
A well written book which grabs the imagination from chapter one and gathers momentum as the story unfolds. This book is difficult to put down once started.
A brilliant first novel from this author.