A Treacherous Likeness - Lynn Shepherd Lynn Shepherd is one of those writers I'd been intending to read for a while, but somehow had never got around to. I wish I hadn't waited so long, because this is a fantastically atmospheric mystery novel.

I'll admit to not knowing much about the Romantic poets themselves, but the twisted and disturbing picture painted here, woven around existing facts, is enthralling and engrossing; as the plot unfurls and darker and darker truths come to light the book becomes breathlessly impossible to put down, even if you have work early the next morning! By the final, horrifying, conclusion there's still the unsettling feeling that all may not be as it seems, and you've passed through an exhausting but satisfying journey into the complicated and frequently immoral world of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Shepherd's writing is smart, managing to sound period-appropriate while still giving knowing winks to modern readers. Charles Maddox, the central character, manages to be both sympathetic and unknowable, a tricky combination that shouldn't work but does. And the depictions of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, Lord Byron and others of their set are vivid and plausible.

Gorgeously written, moving and disturbing, this was an absolutely fantastic book; I can think of no higher praise than to say that I've just ordered my copy of Tom-All-Alone's, I so desperately want to read more from this writer and of this detective.