The American BoyBook - 2003
Interweaving real and fictional elements, The American Boy is a major new literary historical crime novel in the tradition of An Instance of the Fingerpost and Possession. England 1819. Two enigmatic Americans arrive in London and soon after a bank collapses. A man is found dead and horribly mutilated on a building site. Another goes missing in the teeming stews of Seven Dials. A deathbed vigil ends in an act of theft. A beautiful heiress flirts with her inferiors. At the edge of all these mysteries is the American boy Edgar Allan Poe, brought to England by his foster father and sent to the leafy village of Stoke Newington to be educated. Drawn into this web of intrigue is a poor schoolmaster, Thomas Shield, who struggles to understand what is happening before it destroys him and those he loves. But the truth, like the youthful Poe himself, has its origins in the new world as well as the old. The American Boy is a 21st-century novel with a 19th-century voice. It is both a multi-layered literary murder mystery and a love story, its setting ranging from the coal-scented fogs of late Regency London to the stark winter landscapes of rural Gloucestershire. And at its heart is the boy who does not really belong anywhere, an actor who never learns the significance of his part.
Publisher: London, Eng. : Flamingo, c2003.
Characteristics: 485 p. ;,24 cm.
Alternative Title: An unpardonable crime