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The Solitary House

by Lynn Shepherd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charles Maddox (2)

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3994556,960 (3.63)56
Summoned to the offices of Victorian London's most powerful and dangerous solicitors, disgraced police officer turned independent detective Charles Maddox turns to his famous but aging investigator uncle to identify who has been sending threatening letters to a client.

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» See also 56 mentions

English (46)  French (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
The fact that this took me over 1.5 years to finish, and after 2 attempts, should have been my first clue. To put it succinctly, this is a murder mystery set in Victorian England, with shades of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House" thrown in. I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of it enough, I guess, though I did get bored. There is something incredibly irritating about having one mystery brought up in the beginning of the book, have one tiny aspect of it brought to light somewhere near the middle, and then have it magically solved (in as most passive a way as possible-another character has to inform our "hero" of it) a few pages near the end of the book. This doesn't even begin to touch on the main focus of the story, which was pretty...grotesque, I guess you could say.

However, I absolutely detested the "Bleak House" references. I don't think I should (or can?) go into more of this without treading on authorial intent, so I won't, but suffice it to say that I was angry when I finished the book.

And I really didn't particularly care for Charles Maddox. The man had no sense of self-preservation. That may be true to life, but still irritating to read.

I think the book was written well, if a little meh-y, but it just didn't do it for me.

I received this as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
I loved this book

Ok, a bit more detail than that is probably needed but this is a terrific read. I have always struggled with Dickens (Tale of Two Cities for O-level put me off) but I spent a happy few months working my way through Wilkie Collins and the Woman in White is a favourite. Bleak House was a fabulous TV programme a few years ago and purists will say that it is not the same watching the adaptation but to me it makes Dickens accessible. So why am I rambling on about Collins and Dickens and not Shepherd. Simple, Lynn Shepherd has put together a completely original novel which incorporates plot elements from the two but stands alone as a rollicking good read.

Literary snobs can look for the links, literature lovers can enjoy the story. It could be viewed as a pastiche but the nasty plot twists are more explicit than either Collins or Dickens would have dared. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
To anyone who is a fan of Bleak House and/or A woman in White, I can highly recommend this book. Now to read more books by Lynn Shepherd. ( )
  Somerville66 | May 29, 2017 |
Written in the style of my favorites, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens. ( )
  JBSassypants | May 7, 2017 |
I was recommended this book because I like Caleb Carr's The Alienist and it's follow up The Angel of Darkness).

Set in Dickensonian England, this novel is a suspenseful read. The narration is an interesting twist to regular narrative book. I also liked the side story by Hester. I couldn't follow at first where it was going to go but I thoroughly enjoyed how the book was wrapped up and still left me wanting a bit more.

Some feel that the breaks in the narration, the break of the fourth wall, is a bit distracting but I had no problem with it. I think it's truly personal taste. The story, the characters, the mystery was much more interesting and kept me connected regardless.

Charles Maddox is quite an interesting character as is his great uncle who taught him about criminology. The other characters in the book were just as interesting each with their own personalities. I cannot stress how important this is for me - a story just isn't good unless the characters are individualized as possible.

I do wish that the end hadn't come up so quickly. I wasn't ready to put the book down. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lynn Shepherdprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cunningham, CarolineDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, TimCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klynstra, LauraCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Summoned to the offices of Victorian London's most powerful and dangerous solicitors, disgraced police officer turned independent detective Charles Maddox turns to his famous but aging investigator uncle to identify who has been sending threatening letters to a client.

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Average: (3.63)
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3 28
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