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By Lawrence Norfolk

"An vital and encouraging novel."
VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
It is 18th-century London and John Lempriere, a tender student, is writing a dictionary of classical mythology in an try to exorcise the demons raised by way of his father's violent and peculiar dying. whereas tending to his father's enterprise affairs, Lempriere discovers a 150-year outdated conspiracy that has stored his family members from its proportion of the fabulously filthy rich East India corporation. yet as John starts off to untangle the years of puzzle and deceit, humans start to die, in ways in which replicate the very myths he's researching....

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By way of long-haul continent-spanning (with inexplicable pin-point navigation besides) there's a extensive consensus that the goose is your poultry. yet, it's additional stated that sure manoeuvres will not be strongpoints of the goose and leader among those is cornering. This goose is flying approximately downstairs, cheered on through the red meat membership, donning one of those dazed expression which isn't too incredible on condition that it’s attempting to fly directly in the course of the partitions. It’s a miracle it’s nonetheless air-borne, clunk, awesome approximately 3 or 4 toes above everyone’s heads. The Crone doesn’t see it in relatively those phrases. She is lobbing up bolsters, attempting to create a barrage of the issues that may convey the goose down. to this point, it’s no longer operating, yet at the partitions there are particular nails on which as soon as hung a few really nasty watercolours within the demeanour of John Opie, the Cornish ask yourself, achieved by way of a one-time standard, now lifeless. The goose has but to come across those nails (another miracle) yet a few the bolsters have already got and goose down is showering down like snow at the beef membership. With all of the bacon and beef grease but to be abluted, such a lot of them are beautiful adhesive and so now there are various feathered humans jumping up and down, imitating the goose that is none too happy on the cognizance. (Plus, it’s placing and jointly as to the foundation of this bizarre, white stuff. ) Amidst all this, simply Septimus hears the crash which comes from upstairs. might be he felt it used to be inevitable. Racing up and bursting in, he comes upon Lemprière collapsed at the ground. Slapping him elicits not anything coherent, just a hawking sound from the again of his throat. Septimus selections him up with out attempt and as he turns to depart Walter Warburton-Burleigh slides within the door. ‘Thought chances are you'll desire assistance,’ he grins. ‘She been touched? ’ ‘Clearly not,’ says Septimus presently as he bundles up Lemprière and quits the room, edging earlier girls in blue who're peering into the room with proprietorial curiosity. Lemprière is being carried, the backs of his knees slung over Septimus’s shoulders, his fingers trailing virtually to the ground. The older of the 2 ladies stops Septimus. ‘Your winnings,’ she says. ‘His. ’ Septimus shows the upside-down physique. the lady attempts to place the bulging handbag in Lemprière’s fingers, however it is not any solid. he'll now not carry it. ultimately she stuffs it in his mouth. Warburton-Burleigh in the meantime, has extracted his personal handbag and is laying a chilly line of cash down the girl’s hot again, one for every vertebra. She jerks a bit. ‘Keep nonetheless, Rosalie,’ he murmurs silkily. ‘The first is often worst. ’ Lemprière involves, descending the staircase, muhbubh, gagged together with his winnings. he's floating upwards, in the direction of the folk whose toes are glued to the ceiling. under, a crystal tree tinkles its leaves and a wide, white poultry circles it clumsily. His head is mild, so mild it attracts his physique as much as inside inches of the ceiling. everyone seems to be the wrong way up, negative devils. The red meat membership haven't misplaced curiosity within the goose.

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