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The Cunning House

UK Publisher: Sandstone Press

London, 1810. In Vere Street is a house where men assemble to indulge passions for which the age will hang them. A raid on this notorious tavern sees the city gripped with hatred of Mollies, coupled with suspicion of their political sympathies. A few miles away in St James’s Palace, the Duke of Cumberland’s valet suffers a violent death, which the authorities are anxious to see only as suicide. Caught between these two historical events, the fictional lawyer Wyre is reluctantly drawn into a network of dark alliances that appear to link the raid on the White Swan Tavern, the death at the Palace and the war against France. Leading to a shocking revelation, the novel explores a labyrinthine city of asylums, brothels and secret spaces, in which poets rub shoulders with pimps, and where the only constant is illicit desire.

‘The List of historical crime fiction grows ever longer and something special is required to raise a book above the throng. The Cunning House is precisely that: a mesmeric thriller and a fascinating insight into a clandestine world that few of us know about[…] This is a dark side of London Dickens could never have dared to show us, evoked with vividness and pungency.’ – The Financial Times