A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel by David Liss

By David Liss

Benjamin Weaver is an intruder in eighteenth-century London: a Jew between Christians; a ruffian between aristocrats; a retired pugilist who, employed by way of London's gentry, travels in the course of the felony underworld in pursuit of borrowers and thieves.

In A Conspiracy of Paper, Weaver investigates a criminal offense of the main own type: the mysterious loss of life of his estranged father, a infamous stockjobber. to discover the solutions, Weaver needs to deal with a determined prostitute who understands an excessive amount of approximately his previous, kinfolk who remind him of his alienation from the Jewish religion, and a cabal of robust males on the earth of British finance who've hidden their enterprise dealings in the back of an difficult internet of deception and violence. counting on brains and brawn, Weaver uncovers the beginnings of a wierd new monetary order in keeping with inventory speculation--a lifestyle that poses nice danger for traders yet actual possibility for Weaver and his family.

In the culture of The Alienist and written with scholarly cognizance to interval element, A Conspiracy of Paper is among the wittiest and such a lot suspenseful ancient novels in contemporary reminiscence, in addition to a perceptive and beguiling depiction of the beginning of today's monetary markets. In Benjamin Weaver, writer David Liss has created an irresistibly attractive protagonist, person who parlays his wisdom of the rising inventory marketplace right into a new type of detective work.

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The alley was narrow and gave of the cool of the surrounding stones; the ground below us was wet and foul odors drifted up from the puddles of putrid water and the moldering garbage that littered the ground. We discovered a wooden crate set against the wall almost for our convenience, and I could scarce believe that in this part of town an item that might fetch at least a few pence would not be salvaged and sold within minutes of its abandonment. Indeed, I should not have believed it, but more concerned with Kate, I dismissed my curiosity almost at once.

Old Balfour only relented once his brother merchants convinced him that to pursue this mad course was to risk riot and destruction of all their trades. That this merchant’s son should assert that his was an old family was patently absurd—it was not even an old trading family. And while in those days there was, as there is now, something decidedly English about a wealthy merchant, it was a relatively new and uncertain assertion that the son of such a man could claim the status of gentleman. My declaration that our families were of a piece sent him into a kind of fit.

It was a harsh blow. His family was an upstart, and he knew it. He had earned that most ambiguous title of gentleman through his father’s aggressive dealings as a tobacco merchant, not through the majesty of his bloodlines. Indeed, I recalled that old Balfour had made a bit of a stir among the more established tobacco merchants by angering the men he hired to unload his vessels. Dock laborers have, by custom, always been given scant wages, and they have evened out their earnings through a kind of quiet redistribution of the goods they handle.

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