The bestselling mystery of murder, love and obsession
A cold October night, 1854. In a dark passageway, an innocent man is stabbed to death.
So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver, book lover, scholar and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. This seems the stuff of dreams, until a chance discovery convinces Glyver that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. And he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he now knows is rightfully his.
Glyver's path leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most enchanting country houses. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onwards, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.
Thirty years in the writing, The Meaning of Night is a stunning achievement. Full of drama and passion, it is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.
A tale of obsession, love and revenge, played out amid London's swirling smog ... Glyver is an outstanding creation ... Cox lovingly recreates the atmosphere of the period, from grand dinner parties to assignation with ladies of the night ... Yet he never allows period detail to swamp the human drama at the novel's heart' - Daily Mail
Spellbinding Victorian mystery . . .Dark atmospheric storytelling with wicked twists and turns - Good Housekeeping
A handsome slice of Victoriana... a rewarding, sinister yarn wrapped around an austere meditation on fate, faith and privilege - Observer
A novel of fate and free will, forensic detection and blind love, crime and its justifications. The atmosphere crackles, but beneath all is a sly sense of humour. The plotting is second to non - a finely tuned yet extravagantly complex piece of clockwork - Evening Standard
An unadulterated pleasure. In prose as flamboyant as a bespoke smoking jacket, Cox's metropolis comes to life, teeming with hearty whores and weasily clerks ... As thrilling as a Hansom cab chase and as guilty a pleasure as a nocturnal turn at a gentleman's "introducing house" - Independent on Sunday
Like Charles Palliser, Michel Faber and Sarah Waters, Cox is making the Victorian era a switchback ride for the reader's mind... a rich and complicated tale ... a journey into darkness - Independent
A brooding, sinister work ... seeps with questions about good and evil, fate, inheritance, love and, above all, faith - Scotsman
The pages teem with wit and erudition and the plot thickens like a good minestrone soup . . . Thrilling - Courier Mail
Michael Cox has been planning and drafting 'The Meaning of Night' for thirty years. He is a former editor at Oxford University Press and biographer of the ghost story writer M. R. James. His lifelong passion for Victorian literature led him to edit a number of collections of short fiction from the period, including 'The Oxford Book of Victorian Detective Stories'. He lives in rural Northamptonshire - where 'The Meaning of Night' is partly set - with his wife. This is his first novel.