London, 1859. Novice detective, Campbell Lawless, stumbles onto the trail of Berwick Skelton, an elusive revolutionary, seemingly determined to bring London to its knees through a series of devilish acts of terrorism.
But cast into a lethal, intoxicating world of music hall hoofers, industrial sabotage and royal scandal, will Lawless survive long enough to capture this underworld nemesis, before he unleashes his final vengeance on a society he wants wiped from the face of the Earth?
Lawless and The Devil of Euston Square is the first of a series of Victorian thrillers featuring London policeman, Campbell Lawless on his rise through the ranks and his initiation as a spy.
Praise and Reviews
“Engaging, smart and witty – a highly alternative take on Victorian crime. Long live Lawless!”
– Paul Johnston
“Sutton’s superior plotting, characterization, and pacing make the pages fly by.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Book recommendation for Mystery readers! William Sutton writes with such language and intrigue as to draw you deep into the mysterious sewers and tunnels of Victorian London right as the Industrial Age makes way for “progress”. His incredibly well-researched and engaging story is a tumultuous search for why/how more than “who dun it?”. A unique beginning to a new series.” – Barnes and Noble (Westminster CO)
“William Sutton’s first novel is fine, extravagant and thoroughly enjoyable. It is an exuberant tale that offers no more than a nod to probability, and in this it somewhat resembles Boris Akunin’s Fandòrin novels. These have been international bestsellers, and there is no good reason why Sutton’s Worms of Euston Square shouldn’t also do very well. … The action moves with dizzying speed from the highest quarters in the land to the vilest slums and low dives of the teeming city … For this is a world enveloped in smoke and fog, where confusion reigns. Despite this, it is indeed, as becomes apparent, well-constructed, a cunning contrivance. What, after all, as Scott said, is the plot for, but to bring in fine things? And there are fine things here in abundance. We are told that William Sutton is now at work on another Campbell Lawless mystery. If he can maintain this standard of invention, this mastery of linguistic tone, he is on to a winner. Meanwhile one has the impression that this first novel was as enjoyable to write as it unquestionably is to read. We are told that William Sutton is now at work on another Campbell Lawless mystery. If he can maintain this standard of invention, this mastery of linguistic tone, he is on to a winner.”
– Alan Massie, The Scotsman
“A thoroughly enjoyable tale of terrorist agents at work in Victorian London.”
– Scottish Review of Books
“Prose and interweaving plots built like wrought-iron Victorian follies … Genuinely funny. This mix of social history and mid-Victorian Keystone Cops makes Sutton’s debut novel highly original and engaging. He has joyfully thrown himself into the mood, avoiding the leaden naturalism that would have been a more obvious option.”
– Michael Gardiner, Scotland on Sunday
“The success rate of Scots in London is impressive. Police recruit Campbell Lawless seems set to become another. Young Lawless is called to investigate the explosion of a hydraulic engine at Euston Square and from this is hurled deep into the city’s underworld – from music hall to industrial corporations, aided all the way by an endearingly intelligent set of street urchins. A first-rate piece of Victorian crime fiction.”
– The Herald
“Where the book really shines is in its evocation of Victorian London: a living, breathing, stinking beast of a city.”
– The Bookbag