The Irregular: A Different Class of Spy: (The Irregular Book 1) (Hardback)H. B. Lyle (author)
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'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
As a boy, he spied for Sherlock Holmes. As a man, he must save the Empire.
London 1909: The British Empire seems invulnerable. But Captain Vernon Kell, head of counter-intelligence at the War Office, knows better. In Russia, revolution; in Germany, an arms race; in London, the streets are alive with foreign terrorists. Kell wants to set up a Secret Service, but to convince his political masters he needs proof of a threat - and to find that, he needs an agent he can trust. The playing fields of Eton may produce good officers, but not men who can work undercover in a munitions factory that appears to be leaking secrets to the Germans.
Kell needs Wiggins. Trained as a child by Kell's old friend Sherlock Holmes - he led a gang of urchin investigators known as the Baker Street Irregulars - Wiggins is an ex-soldier with an expert line in deduction and the cunning of a born street fighter. 'The best', says Holmes.
Wiggins turns down the job - he 'don't do official'. But when his best friend is killed by Russian anarchists, Wiggins sees that the role of secret agent could take him towards his sworn revenge.
Tracking the Russian gang, Wiggins meets a mysterious beauty called Bela, who saves his life. Working for Kell, he begins to unravel a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the munitions factory.
Fast-paced, action-packed, full of twists and violent, sometimes poignant shocks, The Irregular: A Different Class of Spy marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 506 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 29 mm
A thrilling story of espionage, murder and the creation of the Secret Service -- Charles Cumming, author of A Colder War
A flavoursome smorgasbord that features not only Holmes but also Winston Churchill, this is irresistible stuff * Barry Forshaw, Guardian *
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 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 *
Impressive period detail and sharp dialogue add charm to the strong plot * Daily Mail *
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
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 *
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 *
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 *
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 *
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 *