A Spectacle of Corruption : A Novel
3 journalers for this copy...
More from me once I've read this; I want to get it moving first.
I have a couple of review assignments pending, but I hope to get to this one soon!
Our favorite 18th Century boxer turned private investigator, Benjamin Weaver is back by popular demand. In his latest historical novel, Liss has turned his focus from the Jewish community and financial market to the "spectacle of corruption" that is politics
Like Conspiracy of Paper, Spectacle of Corruption is full of murder and intrigue (and a little history lesson for us readers). However, this time it's Weaver himself who has been accused (and convicted!) of murder. More than ever, Weaver's life depends on the speed and accuracy of his sleuthing skills. After being sentenced to death, Weaver escapes from Newgate Prison. With a one hundred fifty pound bounty on his head, he is forced to create a new persona for himself while he works to clear his name. As Matthew Evans, a tobacco plantation owner lately returned from Jamaica, Weaver is able to insinuate himself with the people he believes responsible for his false conviction. However, the more he uncovers the more Weaver comes to realize that he is just a pawn in an elaborate political game. It's an election year. The Tories and Whigs are fighting it out in the polls and the Jacobites are plotting to overthrow the throne. But, who is willing to kill for their cause? And why have they pinned the murder(s) on him?
Conspiracy of Paper is another wild ride through 18th Century London in all its grit and all its glory. Liss has created another first-class historical novel: well-researched and executed. One can't help but wonder what Weaver and Liss will do next.
Note this is a bit of a spoiler:
As a reader I am completely confused by Miriam's character. In Conspiracy of Paper it seemed that what she wanted most in life was independence (particularly financial independence). So why would she marry someone and let him use up all of her money? It makes no sense at all. I guess the case could be made that it was the price she had to pay to become part of English society. However, with her crazy jealous husband and the way society treated women in general, she doesn't really have much more freedom (of movement, etc) in English society than she did in the Jewish community.
I'll be passing this book on to another member of the Road Crew this weekend :)
I agree with Morsecode about Miriam. She was a complete sellout to her race and ends up with less rather than more
Anyway, about the book... I somehow wound up with a second copy and read that one first. It was ... okay. Not as good as the first Weaver. I'm starting to think I may not be as big a David Liss fan as I'd hoped I would be.
Since it's a Jewish-themed book, and since my book club read the first, I'll offer this to them before sending it out on other travels.