The Irregular: A Different Class of Spy
H. B. Lyle
‘Impressive’ Daily Mail
‘Captivating’ Mick Herron
Nominated for the 2018 Best First Novel, Barry Award
Captain Kell of the War Office knows the Empire is under threat – from Russia and Germany, from terrorists and anarchists, spies and infiltrators.
But he can’t prove it to his superiors. He needs an agent he can trust, someone who knows the street, not the playing fields of Eton.
Kell needs Wiggins. Trained as a child by Kell’s old friend Sherlock Holmes, who used to call his little band of urchins the Baker Street Irregulars, Wiggins is now an ex soldier with an expert line in deduction and the cunning of a bare-knuckle fighter.
But he has no wish to be recruited – until he sees a route to taking his sworn revenge on the killer of his best friend.
I thoroughly enjoyed H.B. Lyle's The Irregular, which imagines Wiggins, the street urchin who helps Holmes in Conan Doyle's tales, grown up and working for the real-life spymaster Vernon Kell...Smart, sophisticated...will still appeal to those unrefined readers - like me - who devoured the Holmes stories when we were young, and secretly believe that nothing in life has been as exciting since * Daily Telegraph * A fast-moving, hugely enjoyable story with interesting characters and authentic background...It is the first of a series, and I look forward to the sequels * The Historical Novel Society * The pacing in The Irregular is near perfect... a rip-roaring page-turner of a book and a rollicking good read * The Tattooed Book Geek * It is hard to generate something new in such an avalanche of well-worn tropes, but H.B. Lyle has managed to do that quite cleverly in The Irregular * Crime Time * An exciting, action packed adventure ... Lyle has chosen an interesting and highly engaging way to take the Sherlock Holmes legacy in a new and thrilling direction * Shots * H.B. Lyle has found the golden thread between Bond and Holmes in a thriller which engages on every page -- Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland Impressive period detail and sharp dialogue add charm to the strong plot * Daily Mail * A good deal of excitement and some enjoyable riffing on both the history of espionage and the Conan Doyle canon, with cameos of everybody from Winston Churchill to Mr Holmes himself... the book is a treat * Sunday Express * A fine first entry in what promises to be a great new series. Wiggins is a captivating hero, and Lyle draws his Edwardian backstreets in convincing colour. The game is most definitely afoot. -- Mick Herron, author of Slow Horses A flavoursome smorgasbord that features not only Holmes but also Winston Churchill, this is irresistible stuff * Barry Forshaw, Guardian * A thrilling story of espionage, murder and the creation of the Secret Service -- Charles Cumming, author of A Colder War [A] twist-filled adventure that proves far from elementary * Wall Street Journal *
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