Longlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize
No. 1 National Bestseller
Globe and Mail's "20 Books to Read in 2016," Maclean's bestseller, Toronto Star bestseller, Ottawa Citizen's "Best on the Shelf," Huffington Post's "Best Fall 2016 Books," Publishers Weekly "Books of the Week," National Post bestseller, Vanity Fair 2016 "Must Read Books of the Fall"
"A dark tale of love, betrayal and murder that reaches from the slums of Victorian London to the diamond mines in South Africa, to the American Civil War and back. Superb storytelling." --Kurt Palka, author of The Piano Maker
A magnificent literary historical-suspense novel in the tradition of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers, and Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White, By Gaslight is destined to be one of the most acclaimed and talked-about books of the year.
London, 1885. In a city of fog and darkness, the notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men's futures -- a man of smoke. William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of a brutal detective, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead. His father died without ever tracing Shade; William, still reeling from his loss, is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows. Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London in search of her; what he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried. What follows is a fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and seance halls. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.
Epic in scope, brilliantly conceived, and stunningly written, Steven Price's By Gaslight is a riveting, atmospheric portrait of two men on the brink. Moving from the diamond mines of South Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War, the novel is a journey into a cityscape of grief, trust, and its breaking, where what we share can bind us even against our darker selves.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When a woman’s body is hauled from the Thames, renowned detective William Pinkerton must hold his nose and join forces with both a grifter and an ex-criminal to capture a notorious criminal connected to her death. By Gaslight is a satisfying cat-and-mouse game that unfolds across a number of memorable locations, from the misty alleys of Dickensian London to the bloodied battlefields of the U.S. Civil War and the diamond mines of South Africa. Fans of Victorian literature and suspenseful thrillers will be hooked by Steven Price’s atmospheric and assured second novel.
Price's elegantly written, vividly evoked second novel (after Into That Darkness) marries historical suspense with literary sophistication. In 1885 London, a woman's dismembered body is identified as that of Charlotte Reckitt, a longtime grifter for whom two very different men are searching. William Pinkerton, the 39-year-old son of American detective-agency-founder Allan Pinkerton, is struggling to accept his larger-than-life father's recent death. Along with the agency, he has inherited the elder Pinkerton's obsession with Edward Shade, an elusive master criminal his father could never apprehend. Having received a letter from Reckitt requesting his help, thief and confidence man Adam Foole hopes to reunite with Charlotte, the lover he lost 10 years before but hasn't forgotten. Both men are obsessed with getting to the bottom of Charlotte's apparent demise: Pinkerton because he believed she could lead him to Shade, Foole because he harbored tender longings for her. As the two circle each other, each probes his own past and both realize they are more similar, and more closely connected, than they believed. With its intricate cat-and-mouse game, array of idiosyncratic characters, and brooding atmosphere, By Gaslight has much to please fans of both classic suspense and Victorian fiction. Yet Price's novel is entirely contemporary, and assuredly his own: a sweeping tale of hunter and hunted in which the most-dangerous pursuer is always the human heart.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Decent but just way too long
Too long of a book. Price goes on forever about certain events. For example reading with medium, the discussion with Molly's original owners. Something that seems to take about 200 pages to write seems like it could be done in 10. Epilogue does not really seem to have any purpose. Why Billy Miner? A good book allows reader imagine what happened to characters after the end of the story. But not Price. He tells you tell you what happened to each character in detail.
Thank goodness finished last page.