This is an extraordinary book and not for the squeamish. The main reason being is as the title states, Paul Lawrence, is so skilled in his writing that we can almost smell the decay of 1664. Cromwell is dead and Charles Stuart is on the throne, but do not be lulled into thinking this is a romantic historical novel. This is crime, wading though the richly textured, and smelly underbelly, of the city of London. Another surprise that among the sometimes gross elements of the book, (who can forget the descriptions of the first body?) - there is genuine humour, and social commentary. This has the makings of a very successful series, following our bumbling height challenged detective, Harry Lytle, - boggins!