A Spectacle of Corruption
A Spectacle of Corruption
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780375760891, 416pp.
Publication Date: November 23, 2004
Moments after his conviction for a murder he did not commit, at a trial presided over by a judge determined to find him guilty, Benjamin Weaver is accosted by a stranger who cunningly slips a lockpick and a file into his hands. In an instant he understands two things: Someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to see him condemned to hang and another equally mysterious agent is determined to see him free.
So beginsA Spectacle of Corruption, which heralds the return of Benjamin Weaver, the hero ofA Conspiracy of Paper. After a daring escape from eighteenth-century London's most notorious prison, Weaver must face another challenge: how to prove himself innocent of a crime when the corrupt courts have already shown they want only to see him hang. To discover the truth and clear his name, he will have to understand the motivations behind a secret scheme to extort a priest, uncover double-dealings in the unrest among London's dockworkers, and expose the conspiracy that links the plot against him to the looming national election an election with the potential to spark a revolution and topple the monarchy.
Unable to show his face in public, Weaver pursues his inquiry in the guise of a wealthy merchant who seeks to involve himself in the political scene. But he soon finds that the world of polite society and politics is filled with schemers and plotters, men who pursue riches and power and those who seek to return the son of the deposed king to the throne. Desperately navigating a labyrinth of politicians, crime lords, assassins, and spies, Weaver learns that, in an election year, little is what it seems and the truth comes at a staggeringly high cost.
Once again, acclaimed author David Liss combines historical erudition with mystery, complex characterization, and a captivating sense of humor.A Spectacle of Corruptionoffers insight into our own world of political scheming, and it firmly establishes David Liss as one of the best writers of intellectual suspense at work today.
“[A] wonderful book . . . every bit as good as [Liss’s] remarkable debut . . . Easily one of the year’s best.”
–The Boston Globe
“[A] rousing sequel of historical, intellectual suspense."
–San Antonio Express-News
“Liss is a superb writer who evokes the squalor of London with Hogarthian gusto.”
“In Benjamin Weaver, Mr. Liss has created a multifaceted character and a wonderful narrator.”
–The New York Sun
“With eloquent wit, Liss manipulates the concepts of misdirection and probability theory in his serpentine third novel. . . . It all ends with yet another twist that seems to promise we’ll hear more from–and more of–the indefatigable Benjamin Weaver. Let’s hope so.”
“Gritty historical fiction . . . glorious dialogue, lively rogues [and a] fascinating setting.”