Winner of the 2002 Hammett Award
They found the dead fellow in London, balled up in a basket of eels. Chewed upon he was, and most unsightly. He still had the proper shape of a man, if a bit whittled down and perforated. But he was not handsome on the butcher's table, even though the blood was long since out of him.
In a stunning re-creation of 1860s London and Glasgow that reaches from the worst slums in Europe to the lobbies of Parliament, Owen Parry brings the past to ravishing life. In a time when casualty lists grimly mount in America's Civil War, federal officer Major Abel Jones returns to the land he once left in hope of a better life on a mission essential to the Union cause. Yet it is the strange death of a lowly man of the cloth -- and a subsequent series of equally grotesque murders -- that intrude upon Jones's determined efforts to block the delivery of British warships to the Confederacy. And his pursuit of a monstrous killer is leading a patriot with a limp, Victorian morals, and a Welsh lilt into a hellish darkness...where some of England's most renowned personages and powerful political leaders -- including Benjamin Disraeli himself -- appear to have a great deal to hide.