#ThePeculiarities by @David_Liss

All of his life, Thomas Thresher has been free of obligation and responsibility, but that is over now. He is a twenty-three-year-old man whose best days are behind him. Thomas’s older brother Walter has trapped him in a tedious clerical job at the family bank in London, and Thomas is expected to wed a wealthy young woman in whom he has no interest.

But Thomas has more serious problems than those of a disaffected young man. There are irregularities at the bank he cannot explain. His childhood friend has mysteriously turned up dead. Worse, a verdant skin malady has infected him: leaves have begun sprouting on his skin. Thomas must conclude that it is due to the long-rumoured Peculiarities. London’s famous grey fog has been concealing a rash of unnatural afflictions–and worse, the murderous Elegants.

As Thomas grows leafier, the conspiracies surrounding him become more apparent. He cannot determine whom to trust: his own family; his banking co-workers and superiors; the beautiful widow of his companion; the woman he is to marry. Or perhaps a lycanthropic medium; the members of a secret occult society…or even Aleister Crowley.

***

Thomas stands in the ballroom of the massive house near Belgrave Square wishing he were somewhere else.

ONE, ABUNDANCE

***

(@TachyonPub, 7 September 2021, 336 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is a new author for me. I thought this was a terrific, original read. I will definitely read more of the author’s work. I knew I’d love the book within a couple of pages and I was right. The Peculiarities is a blend of historical fiction, horror and fantasy and offers something very different. I’ve never read anything quite like it. I loved the way the author blends the supernatural events plaguing London and magic and more everyday common events such as the Thomas uncovering suspicious transactions at the bank and the tense family relationship between Thomas and Walter. Aleister Crowley, the real-life, notorious occultist plays a key role in the novel. I’ve read other books featuring him and liked the way he’s portrayed here. This is a fantastic, unique read.  

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