Plenty of high dud­geon

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BOOKS -

Paraic O’don­nell W&N €14.99

THE year is 1893 and young Cam­bridge di­vin­ity stu­dent Gideon Bliss has ar­rived in Lon­don in search of his un­cle, whom he ap­pears to have lost. Gideon has also lost both his par­ents, al­though that was some years ear­lier, but such a predica­ment might well tempt a re­viewer to des­e­crate poor Os­car Wilde’s line: to lose two par­ents is un­for­tu­nate but to lose an un­cle too looks like care­less­ness.

Seek­ing refuge from the bit­ter night cold, Gideon slips into St Anne’s Church in Soho and wit­nesses some­thing ter­ri­ble there.

Mean­while in May­fair, a gifted young seam­stress is work­ing up­stairs in the home of a cer­tain Lord Stry­the when she takes it upon her­self to throw her­self out of the win­dow. A post-mortem in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­veals that she has em­broi­dered the first line of the Mag­ni­fi­cat —

FIC­TION The House on Ves­per Sands

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