William Pinkerton and Adam Floode seem polar opposites. William is a big, white man who works, of course, for the famed Pinkerton Agency. His father was its founder. Adam Floode is a small, mixed-race man, an orphan. He is part of the 1880s flash or loose association of thieves and scam artists.
Alan Pinkerton binds William to him by blood and family, Adam Floode by giving him a life-saving opportunity during the American Civil War. Charlotte Rickett and her cousin Martin supply some of the mystery.
This 700+ word tome alternates between 1860s American Civil War and 1880s London, England. William Pinkerton is in London on a mission of his own. He must find the elusive Edward Shade who may be a ghost but one that haunted William's father his whole life. Charlotte Reckitt is a part of the puzzle. When she is murdered, both Pinkerton and Floode work to find out what really happened. Floode because he loved her and Pinkerton because he thinks she may know of the mysterious Edward Shade. The point of view travels with William and then with Adam. There are twists and turns aplenty, the romance of the Pinkerton Agency and the horror of 1880s London with its opium dens and destitute thousands. It takes some reading but it's a hard book to put down.
This is Canadian poet, Steven Price's second novel. The language is rich and paints a vivid picture whether it is in the sewer systems of London or on the Battlefields with the Union Soldiers. Price's novel is complex and satisfying.
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