The Luminaries (Kobo eBook)
The winner of the Man Booker Prize, this "expertly written, perfectly constructed" bestseller (The Guardian) is now a Starz miniseries.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
Charles Finch raises the bar on his well loved gentleman Inspector Lenox character in this deeply resonant "prequel" that crosses the pond to the United States before the Civil War. As always, strong writing with characters you've gone to tea with with an added political theatre over slavery in this hard-to-put down mystery.