Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Review: The Devil's Company by David Liss

London in 1722 was a place ruled by two entities: the King's Government and the East India Company. Benjamin Weaver, ex-pugilist turned precursor to what will in later years become the private detective, is compelled by force into the presence of one Mr. Jerome Cobb. Mr. Cobb has a job for Weaver and has anticipated Weaver's refusal to perform the requested tasks. So Cobb has taken steps to insure Weaver's cooperation, namely buying up all the loans of his relations and friends and threatening them with debtor's prison.

What does Cobb want? Well, for a start, he wants Weaver to get some documents from inside the offices of the East India Company. At first this seems an impossible task but Benjamin soon has a plan and is able to deliver the requested papers. Only to find that this request was but the first, there will be many more before he is released from service and his loved ones freed from the threat that hangs over them.

When Benjamin discovers that multiple insurance policies have been taken out on his life, he realizes that the game, whatever it is, is much more complicated than he first imagined. With the help of his good friend Elias, they set out to discover what is at the bottom of the scheme because his complete understanding of the larger plot is the only way Benjamin can see to get out of this mess alive.

Weaver's fame has preceded him and on the strength of it he is able to secure a position as security director within the East India Company. Here he meets many people who contribute to both the mystery and its solution, not the least of whom is servant Celia Glade. She is more than she seems, but what side is she on? He will have to find out and must also figure out how to control his growing fascination with this beautiful young woman, while using every bit of cunning he possesses to sniff out the motives of some of the most powerful groups in his world.

I found this novel completely engrossing. It has all of the elements that I love in a historical tale, intriguing characters, evocative sense of place, a twisty plot that surprises at numerous turns. Add to that superb writing and you have a book that is going onto my favorites list. What I can't figure out is why I haven't read anything by David Liss before. I know I have The Coffee Trader
sitting on a shelf somewhere. You can be sure that I will be pulling it out and ordering each and every other book he has written so far! This is a fantastic story, compellingly told...a winning combination that shouldn't be missed!

Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for sending me The Devil's Companyfor review! For more information about David Liss and his books, please visit his website.

The Devil's Company is published by Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6419-9


Dorothy Thompson said...

Oh Carey, thank you! I was so tired last night I fell asleep early and forgot to remind you before I crashed. Wonderful review...thank you so much!

Literate Housewife said...

Great review! I have this one waiting on my shelves. I snagged it through LibraryThing. I am so glad you loved it because that will help nudge me to read it. I'll take it with my on my vacation.

Zibilee said...

I've recently been hearing all sorts of good things about David Liss' work, but haven't yet read anything from him. I do have the Coffee Trader on my shelf, so I will probably start with that one, although this one sounds very good as well. I am glad you enjoyed the book and will be putting it on my wish list. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that sounds so great, so mysterious and intriguing! I'd love to read that, great review!

Beth F said...

I loved the COFFEE TRADER and have been wanting to read this since I first heard of it. I'm so happy to know that you liked it. I must now track it down!

bermudaonion said...

Twists and turns and fabulous writing both - sounds like a winner to me!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I have this from the library, I need to make sure to actually get to it.

Lenore said...

I really enjoyed THE WHISKY REBELS so I bet I would like this one too.

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.