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"An important and inspiring novel."
VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
It is 18th-century London and John Lempriere, a young scholar, is writing a dictionary of classical mythology in an attempt to exorcise the demons raised by his father's violent and bizarre death. While tending to his father's business affairs, Lempriere discovers a 150-year old conspiracy that has kept his family from its share of the fabulously wealthy East India Company. But as John begins to untangle the years of mystery and deceit, people begin to die, in ways that mirror the very myths he is researching....
From the Trade Paperback edition.
decision; for or against. Naturally the whole business is, as you say, preposterous. You are the only man who can prove it, one way or the other. George is obsessed, he must be convinced. We must have proof, you understand?’ Theobald Peppard had understood that he was indispensable. His grudging acceptance of Lemprière’s proposal - to call upon his brother at his lodgings - had followed shortly after. ‘I still do not understand your own interest,’ Theobald was saying as they trudged northwards.
broke. He was outside Le Mara’s house. The mews was deserted. A livid sunset was daubing pinks and darker blues over the western sky. Heat rolled like a millstone through the streets and Nazim sweated beneath his hat for the slow hot wind offered no relief. He had been watching the house for over an hour when the black coach drew up. Nazim shrank back and watched as it came to a halt. No-one got out. It waited there for several minutes, its driver muffled despite the heat and motionless on his
Troy and the massacre to its people. Perhaps his courage had been slight. Perhaps he might have seen the truth for all its trappings a little sooner. But he was not Paris. It was more than infatuation. The air in the tunnel was warm and still. Even with his spectacles he could make out only the most general contours and the strange light was very dim. He fancied he saw a darker form some yards to his left. The ache in his head was a dull throb. He began to crawl through the dust towards the
Rathkael-Herbert looked over the side, frowned, then looked again. The ships began to move more violently, straining at the hawsers. The river swirled. Its surface dipped. No, he thought. He turned to his companions. ‘Abandon ship!’ he cried. ‘Wilberforce! Hörst! The water, look! Oh, God no….’ The luminous river surface was massing, piling up in heaving ramparts of green; solid walls of rising water teetered all about the ship whose deck pitched forward as though old Father Thames was suddenly
invented the siege and there were monuments enough to that: Carthage with Cato baying for destruction in the Senate, Babylon with its hundred gates of bronze and walls two hundred cubits high cemented with bitumen and, greatest of all, Alexandria where the books burned.… A clatter on the stairs outside his door. The tailor. He had yet to set eyes on the man. Lemprière returned to the drudgery of signing and dating the work he had completed. Over the following two days he checked the pages