Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book Review: "The Devil's Company"

David Liss' Benjamin Weaver is back in action in The Devil's Company (forthcoming from Random House). I've enjoyed all three of the Weaver books (A Conspiracy of Paper, A Spectacle of Corruption are the two previous), but this one might be the best yet. Weaver unwittingly finds himself at the mercy of some shady characters who force him to involve himself with the inner workings of the British East India Company. As Weaver tries to extricate himself from their clutches in order to keep himself, his family and acquaintances out of debtors' prison (or worse), he's forced to realize that things are not always (or, in this case, pretty much never) what they seem. The reader (and Weaver) are kept guessing right until the last page.

As with its predecessors, this book is richly detailed and obviously painstakingly researched. Benjamin Weaver and his alter ego Elias Gordon are wonderful characters, written with a depth and wit that has begun to remind me a bit of O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin. It's always a delight to read Liss' works; I've said before and I'll say again that I think he's one of today's best writers of historical fiction.

Highly recommended.