From the book jacket:
It is 1855, and engineer William May has returned
home to his beloved wife from the battlefields of the Crimea. He secures a job
transforming London's sewer system and begins to lay his ghosts to rest. Above
ground, his work is increasingly compromised by corruption, and cholera
epidemics threaten the city. But it is only when the peace of the tunnels is
shattered by murder that William loses his tenuous hold on sanity. Implicated in
the crime, plagued by visions and nightmares, even he is not sure of his
innocence. Long Arm Tom, who scavenges for valuables in the subterranean world
of the sewers and cares for nothing and no one but his dog, Lady, is William's
only hope of salvation. Will he bring the truth to light?
Psychologically scarred William May, recently returned from the
the Crimean War, is a chief...
Beyond the Book
The Crimean War
(1854-1856) was fought between Russia and an alliance of
countries including Britain. It is considered to be the first "modern"
war, and was marked by an extraordinary level of incompetence, at least from the British point
of view. The low point of the war was probably the notorious Charge of the Light
Brigade, immortalized by
Tennyson. One good thing did result from the Charge of the Light Brigade - it put an end to the sale of military commissions: The officer who ordered the charge was Lord Cardigan (the eponymous wearer of that useful button down garment that carries his name) who had paid
£40,000 to rise from the rank of an incoming officer to Lieutenant-Colonel in just 6 years. Another good thing to come out of the Crimean war was...