The Quick: A Novel
This book begins like a traditional Gothic novel, then turns into something else. Siblings James and Charlotte Norbury grew up in a decaying estate called Aiskew Hall. When their father dies, Charlotte remains home with their aunt. James goes away to Oxford and later to London, hoping to become a poet/playwright.
James is a shy introvert. His fellow lodger, Christopher Paige, is a social dandy. These mismatched roommates become a case of opposites attracting. They plan to go away to the continent, but first Christopher talks James into dropping off his play at Oscar Wilde’s doorstep. During this venture, an encounter leads to a tragic death and James’s entrance into the secretive Aegolius Club.
It’s hard to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that when James doesn’t answer Charlotte’s letters, she comes looking for him and has several encounters with those who must not be named here. Efforts to save James lead Charlotte to romance and marriage, although under strange circumstances.
The author convincingly creates an atmospheric Victorian London and the esoteric world of the Aegolius Club. The book could have benefitted from some trimming, however, and none of the characters seemed truly sympathetic.
|Page Count||544 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|