By Gaslight

Steven Price's historical novel was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.

Steven Price

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. (From McClelland & Stewart)

Read an excerpt | Author interview | More from this book

From the book

For twenty-three years now he had answered to the name of Adam Foole. He had already made his fortune and wasted it several times over. In certain banks along the Eastern Seaboard his name was now anathema, in others it remained respected, in still others managers would hurriedly unhook their wire spectacles and stand at their desks to consider his newest venture. An elegant club in New York held an oak-panelled room in reserve on weeks when he walked in that city though he had not settled that bill in three years. His business was multifold and various and suitably vague in an age of gentlemen investors and he did not advertise his talents.

From By Gaslight by Steven Price ©2016. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

Author interview

Columnist Donna Bailey Nurse on why Steven Price's By Gaslight is a good match for Eleanor Catton's epic novel The Luminaries.

More from this book