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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Solitary House: A Novel » User review

Atmospheric thriller

  • Mar 26, 2012
This book takes readers back to the mid 19th century in England, particularly London. A former policeman who has become a detective and a person finder, is enlisted by a father to try and find the whereabouts of his daughter, missing for many years. It appears to be an almost impossible task, but the fellow takes on the job.

While this is going on, the detective is hired by a rather sinister lawyer to find the author if several seemingly threatening notes sent to a prominent banker. It's in doing this work that the protagonist begins to feel that there is more to this search than he is being told..Shortly the bodies begin turning up, several mutilated in extremely gruesome ways. The protagonist also becomes someone who suffers sat the hands of an unknown assailant, but that doesn't stop him from continuing his investigation.

The reader is treated to almost a city-wide tour of 1850 London, and some of its buildings, both stately and disreputable. Eventually, all mysteries are solved, and the book ends. It's a good read, but I found that there were a few loose ends (at least in my opinion) and a series of coincidences such as you would find in a Thomas Hardy novel. I think that the average reader will enjoy it, and I recommend it.

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June 12, 2013
Thanks for sharing!
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #92
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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Advance praise for The Solitary House
“Expertly, Shepherd has re-created Dickensian London but made it anew so that I never felt ‘why would you re-do Dickens’ but did feel, ‘why has no one done this before?’ . . . A cracking good story, well told.”—New Books (U.K.)
“A highly compelling, immaculately written nineteenth-century murder mystery with a lot of Dickensian references in the language . . . an engaging read.”—The Independent

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