John Lawton finds himself in the same boat as the late Patrick O'Brian - a sublimely elegant historical novelist as addictive as crack but overlooked by too many readers for too long.
Admirable, ambitious and haunting, this is the sort of thriller that defies categorisation. I look forward with enthusiasm to the next one.
John Lawton's books contain such a wealth of period detail, character description and background information that they are lifted out of any category. Every word is enriched by the author's sophistication and irreverent intelligence, by his meticulous research and his wit.
Wonderfully captures the atmosphere of wartime London... original and entertaining.
This fine novel repeatedly brings to mind le Carré - for its elegance and style, its intricate suspenseful plot, [and] its intimate knowledge of a seemingly shattered time and place... A delightful, intelligent, involving book.
Flawlessly re-creates the tensions of a society . . . teetering on the brink of a social and sexual revolution . . . Lawton's trick is to take the threads of history and weave them into his own tapestry.
Unputdownable narrative of spying, sexual intrigue, political scandal, and murder . . . a haunting novel transcending the bounds of genre fiction.
John Lawton is so captivating a storyteller that I'd happily hear him out on any subject . . . Meticulous artistry . . . The Chekhovian echo brilliantly captures the end-of-days significance of every sordid indictment in this sprawling story.
New York Times Book Review