The Meaning of Night review

The Meaning of Night: A Confession by Michael Cox is a commitment read.  A thick book replete with ubiquitous footnotes, mostly antiquarian in nature, this is no mere summer read.  That’s not to say it isn’t a page turner; upon making the commitment, a reader will be duly rewarded by the author.  There is a murder in the opening pages, but this is no ordinary mystery.  The narrator confesses to the crime immediately, then spends the remainder of the tale explaining his motive for the random act of violence.  The narrator/confessor, Edward Glyver, is well acquainted with the seven deadly sins, but less acquainted with his own past.  As he indulges in the former and investigates the latter the mysteries begin to emerge from the London fog.  As the reader travels long distances through tenements and lordly estates with the narrator, it becomes the sympathetic quest of an unsympathetic character. This is the accomplishment of the author’s craft, the twist of the knife.


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