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The Devil's Company: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 7, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Benjamin Weaver Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Edgar-winner Liss's enjoyable third thriller to feature the estimable Benjamin Weaver, an 18th-century London thieftaker (after A Spectacle of Corruption and A Conspiracy of Paper), Weaver finds himself working reluctantly for a mysterious gentleman, Jerome Cobb. On Cobb's orders, Weaver takes employment as a security man at the British East India Company's headquarters, where he tries to obtain information about the death of one Absalom Pepper, of whom virtually nothing is known. To keep Weaver in line, Cobb has blackmailed Weaver's friend Moses Franco, close confederate Elias Gordon and his beloved uncle Miguel. As usual, several beautiful women play roles in the complicated plot, which involves industrial spying and the international textile trade. Weaver's two previous adventures could sometimes bog down in arcane financial and political detail, but Liss keeps the suspense at full boil and the action rolling swiftly ahead. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A treat for lovers of historical fiction. . . .accomplished, atmospheric, and thoughtful.”—Washington Post

“As distinguished by the compelling voice of its narrator as it is by its vibrant detail.”—Denver Post

“Witty and stimulating”—Kirkus

“More than just a finely written mystery. Liss injects thoughtful discussion of issues that should resonate in the best university business courses. Corporate ethics at the British East India Company appear to resemble those of Wall Street companies this decade.”—San Antonio Express-News

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064199
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One day while on vacation, I stepped into a local bookstore looking for a bit of literary adventure. I decided I wanted to read some fiction, instead of the usual history I tend to gravitate to. I randomly pulled off the shelf a book called the "Coffee Trader" by David Liss, not knowing a thing about the book or the author. The literary fates smiled upon me that day. I was amazed that a book set in 16th century Amsterdam could be so full on intrigue, suspense and absolutely thrilling to read. After that, I tracked down his other works of historical fiction, "The Conspiracy of Paper" and "The Spectacle of Corruption," and was introduced to one of the most fascinating heroes in literary fiction, Benjamin Weaver.

"The Devil's Company" the third in the Benjamin Weaver series, is a fantastic book! It follows the exploits of Benjamin Weaver, a private investigator, in London in the fall of 1722. Mr. Weaver is employed to avenge the honor of his client, through a set up in a game of chance. This is but the beginning of a tale so full of malice, intrigue and malevolent cleverness that one worries if Mr. Weaver's "derring do" will be enough to prevail. Also, I never thought the British East India Company could be such a vipers' nest of scheming. What transpires there has relevance today and illustrates that corporate perfidy is not a recent development. Mr. Weaver is compelled to go to work for "the Company" by a mysterious cabal. The stakes are incredibly high as Mr. Weaver has to sort through ever shifting facts and alliances, and his Herculean task ensnares the reader to such an extent that one is cautioned to set aside some serious reading time, lest one stay up half the night.

Mr. Liss has written a superlative book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book gallops along and is really quite pleasant to read about the exploits of superJew, superfighter, supersleuth Bejamin Weaver as he plays underworld chess having been manneuvered by birth and conspiracy into a game where he starts minus at least a bishop and two pawns. The texture, customs and speech of early 18th century London seem quite authentic to this Londoner.

Weaver's foes (or allies - you're never quite sure which) are everywhere from the Crown, the Crapeauds, the East India Company to . . . you name it. I'll not reveal the plot as the fun is in the reading and feeling part of the swirl of the place and times. This book is great fun to read . . .

However, the entire plot is totally ludicrous when you look at it dispassionately. For example, the initial set-up whereby Weaver falls under the manipulative control of Mr Cobb makes absolutely no sense. It is ridiculously complicated and I have to feel that the author could have found a subtler way for Weaver to fall into Cobb's net than the contorted combination of sledgehammer conspiracies that he employs.

Unfortunately, the lack of sensible plot development continues throughout the book. A further example is the bizarre history of the invisible Absalom Pepper.

The depiction of anti-semitism is a little heavy-handed but probably actually quite realistic. The irony, however, is that Britain at that time (and, of course,since) was one of the safest places in the world to be a Jew - I have some personal family knowledge of that. Also, there is a little too much ranting about the evils of corporations and capitalism for my liking.

I found the Coffee Trader by the same author to be much more plausible and at least as much fun to read.
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Format: Hardcover
The Devil's Company is the fourth Benjamin Weaver novel; this time, it's 1722, and Weaver must take on one of the world's largest corporations: the East India Company. Hired (though that's too mile a term) by a dangerous man named Jerome Cobb, he must infiltrate the Company to steal secret documents. What happens, however, is a complicated series of treachery and deceptions--some of them at Benjamin Weaver's expense.

This is the fifth novel I've read by David Liss, and I'd definitely say that his Benjamin Weaver books are much stronger than his stand-alone book, The Whiskey Rebels. Weaver, while not sympathetic or sometimes even likable, is a compelling character. One thing you always know will happen in a book in which he's featured is that he'll get double-crossed at some point, and The Devil's Company is no exception. Liss excels at description, too, and I enjoyed his depiction of 1722 London.

The mystery itself however, is a bit predictable, and the disguises don't always hide people's identities all that well. Also, I was a little frustrated by Absalom Pepper's cotton machine mentioned in the book; it's never actually described, so that it would seem more real. The author bites off a lot in writing about the East India Company, and I wish he had described it more in this book. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the characters and most of the story. Weaver has a biting, sarcastic wit, and he had me laughing at many places in the novel; he's is the reason why I keep turning back to this series.
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