Synopses & Reviews
"David Liss masterfully blends rich historical fiction with terrifying supernatural body horror. He stands with Robert Louis Stevenson and Bram Stoker. Highly recommended."
--Jonathan Maberry, author of V-Wars and Ink
From popular historical fiction author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper) comes the tale of a clueless young man embroiled in a deadly supernatural mystery in London. Rooted in strange conspiracies and secret societies, this absurdist comedic romp combines strange bedfellows with murderous creatures, resulting in an unexpectedly delightful consequences.
All of his life, Thomas Thresher has been free of obligation and responsibility, but that is over now. He is a twenty-three-year-old man whose best days are behind him. Thomas's older brother Walter has trapped him in a tedious clerical job at the family bank in London, and Thomas is expected to wed a wealthy young woman in whom he has no interest.
But Thomas has more serious problems than those of a disaffected young man. There are irregularities at the bank he cannot explain. His childhood friend has mysteriously turned up dead. Worse, a verdant skin malady has infected him: leaves have begun sprouting on his skin. Thomas must conclude that it is due to the long-rumored Peculiarities. London's famous grey fog has been concealing a rash of unnatural afflictions--and worse, the murderous Elegants.
As Thomas grows leafier, the conspiracies surrounding him become more apparent. He cannot determine whom to trust: his own family; his banking co-workers and superiors; the beautiful widow of his companion; the woman he is to marry. Or perhaps a lycanthropic medium; the members of a secret occult society...or even Aleister Crowley.
Buzzfeed Best Book of the Month
From popular historical fiction author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper) comes the tale of a clueless young man embroiled in a deadly supernatural mystery in Victorian London. Rooted in strange conspiracies and secret societies, this absurdist comedic romp combines strange bedfellows with murderous creatures, resulting in an unexpectedly delightful consequences.
"Intricate plotting, exquisite pacing, crackling suspense, and fascinating historical rabbit hole revelations."
Thomas's problems are more serious than those of a typical young Victorian gentleman. His elder brother may be sabotaging the family's bank. His childhood friend has died under mysterious circumstances. Far worse, leaves are sprouting on Thomas's skin. Perhaps it is all the fault of the long-rumored "Peculiarities" lurking in London's grey fog?
Proper society scoffs at the notion of magic, even as it seeps into their buildings, transfiguring the rich and poor alike. If Thomas is going to save the family business --and stop turning into a tree--he'll need help from some rather improper companions. Desperate for counsel, he seeks the advice of a lycanthropic medium and London's unacceptable occult society, including a strange fellow named Aleister Crowley.