Book of the Week

The Quick by Lauren Owen. Photo: PA Photo/Jonathan Cape

The Quick by Lauren Owen. Photo: PA Photo/Jonathan Cape

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The Quick by Lauren Owen

In her debut novel, Lauren Owen has conjured up a sumptuous supernatural feast that slowly takes hold and leaves you wanting more and more as every page turns.

In the darkly atmospheric setting of Victorian London, multiple characters and narratives interweave and are brought together with panache. The novel is rich in style and, although the story is slow to start, when it does begin to unfold, the book is very hard to put down.

Plot, characterisation and pacing are on-the-money as Owen plays with expectations, taking the action one way, only to take it in another direction.