Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of The Whiskey Rebels
and A Conspiracy of Paper
comes a superb new historical thriller set in the splendor and squalor of eighteenth-century London. In Benjamin Weaver, David Liss has created one of fiction's most enthralling characters.
The year is 1722. Ruffian for hire, ex-boxer, and master of disguise, Weaver finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, pitted against Jerome Cobb, a wealthy and mysterious schemer who needs Weaver's strength and guile for his own treacherous plans.
Weaver is blackmailed into stealing documents from England's most heavily guarded estate, the headquarters of the ruthless British East India Company, but the theft of corporate secrets is only the first move in a daring conspiracy within the eighteenth century's most powerful corporation. To save his friends and family from Cobb's reach, Weaver must infiltrate the Company, navigate its warring factions, and uncover a secret plot of corporate rivals, foreign spies, and government operatives. With millions of pounds and the security of the nation at stake, Weaver will find himself in a labyrinth of hidden agendas, daring enemies, and unexpected allies.
With the explosive action and scrupulous period research that are David Liss's trademarks, The Devil's Company, depicting the birth of the modern corporation, is the most impressive achievement yet from an author who continues to set ever higher standards for historical suspense.
"In Edgar-winner Liss's enjoyable third thriller to feature the estimable Benjamin Weaver, an 18th-century London 'thieftaker' (after A Spectacle of Corruption and A Conspiracy of Paper), Weaver finds himself working reluctantly for a mysterious gentleman, Jerome Cobb. On Cobb's orders, Weaver takes employment as a security man at the British East India Company's headquarters, where he tries to obtain information about the death of one Absalom Pepper, of whom virtually nothing is known. To keep Weaver in line, Cobb has blackmailed Weaver's friend Moses Franco, close confederate Elias Gordon and his beloved uncle Miguel. As usual, several beautiful women play roles in the complicated plot, which involves industrial spying and the international textile trade. Weaver's two previous adventures could sometimes bog down in arcane financial and political detail, but Liss keeps the suspense at full boil and the action rolling swiftly ahead. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[H]istorical details give The Devil's Company a richness that make it more than an enjoyable diversion, though, dear reader, it is foremost and most agreeably that." The Austin American Statesman
"Historical fiction is mostly smoke and mirrors. Modern writers really don't know what it was like to live in the past — no matter how much research they do — so the success of the enterprise depends largely on creating a convincing illusion....Liss rises to this challenge with great skill in this accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful novel." The Washington Post
"Like Liss' other books, The Devil's Company...is thoroughly steeped in the pungent life, morals and politics of its time and place." The Seattle Times
About the Author
David Liss is the author of The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.