Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Quick: A Novel by Lauren Owen

The Quick
A Novel
by Lauren Owen

Trade Paperback, 560 pages

The Quick is first a period piece. Taking place in the late nineteen hundreds, the end of Victorian era London, that repressive and somewhat grimy time when one struggled to live comfortably - or at all.

There is a beautiful slow build up, a true getting to know of the characters and what makes them tick. By the time we enter gritty London and the monsters that live in the shadows, they are family to us.

There is something so appealing about a good vampire novel. They seem to hold a fascination for us, a permanent place in our nightmares.

Owen, a Londoner herself, carries the genre perfectly - the self-denial, much left unsaid - it all must be shown rather than talked about. Which is the mark of a good book, of course.

I am hoping for a sequel for this fascinating novel, which remains genteel throughout whenever possible. A refreshing change in vampire fiction.

From the Back Flap:

Now in trade paperback, an astonishing debut of epic scope and suspense, The Quick conjures up magic and menace in Victorian London's elegant drawing rooms and its dark, dangerous alleyways. A rich feast for lovers of the novels of Sarah Waters, Anne Rice, The Night Circus, and The Crimson Petal and the White.

     In 1893 London, James Norbury takes up lodgings with a young man from the upper echelons of society and soon finds love where he least expected it. Then James suddenly disappears.

     His sister Charlotte is determined to find out what happened. Charlotte is horrified at what she discovers, but love spurs on her efforts to save her brother from an unthinkable fate. Her quest leads both to the mysterious, centuries-old Aegolius Club, and to slums full of unforgettable characters. With them, readers are caught up in the breathtaking climax to an ancient battle being fought within a secret world hiding in plain sight, in the middle of the great city of London itself.

     Winning rave international reviews, The Quick has established Lauren Owen as a dazzling new literary talent.

Lauren Owen studied English Literature at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, before completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2009 Curtis Brown prize for the best fiction dissertation. The Quick is her first novel. She lives in northern England.