Historical fiction is tricky, but Liss pulls a rabbit out of a hat on this 18th century tale on the beginnings of the stock exchange in London. Spun as a memoir by one Benjamin Weaver (nee Lienzo), ex boxing champ of England then turned thief catcher/detective, it takes place in the early 1700s and traces the seemingly unrelated murders of two men (Ben’s father and Sir Balfour), while luring Ben back to his Jewish roots in Dukes Place. Liss does well to insert historical details (riots, rotting flesh, Bevis Marks synagogue*, coffeehouses, fear of national debt) along with dialogue that doesn’t drag with old timey speech and dialect.
*Special note on Bevis Marks–I visited London during the weekend when historical buildings were opened to the public and was able to visit the synagogue. Over 300 years old and still in use, with a tiny courtyard and intricately detailed decor, I sat within meditating on life and other sundries and had an overwhelming sense of spiritual currents flowing through me. That experience will stay with me although it now smacks of bland new-age nonsense.
Recommended by The Max