Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Review: The Devil's Company, by David Liss
The Devil’s Company is the fourth Benjamin Weaver novel; this time, it’s 1722, and Weaver must take on one of the world’s largest corporations: the East India Company. Hired (though that’s too mile a term) by a dangerous man named Jerome Cobb, he must infiltrate the Company to steal secret documents. What happens, however, is a complicated series of treachery and deceptions—some of them at Benjamin Weaver’s expense.
This is the fifth novel I’ve read by David Liss, and I’d definitely say that his Benjamin Weaver books are much stronger than his stand-alone book, The Whiskey Rebels. Weaver, while not sympathetic or sometimes even likable, is a compelling character. One thing you always know will happen in a book in which he’s featured is that he’ll get double-crossed at some point, and The Devil’s Company is no exception. Liss excels at description, too, and I enjoyed his depiction of 1722 London.
The mystery itself however, is a bit predictable, and the disguises don’t always hide people’s identities all that well. Also, I was a little frustrated by Absalom Pepper’s cotton machine mentioned in the book; it’s never actually described, so that it would seem more real. The author bites off a lot in writing about the East India Company, and I wish he had described it more in this book. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the characters and most of the story. Weaver has a biting, sarcastic wit, and he had me laughing at many places in the novel; he’s is the reason why I keep turning back to this series.
Also reviewed by: The Tome Traveller's Weblog, The Literate Housewife