Bless the Thief by Alan Wall

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A first novel of remarkable ingenuity, Bless the Thief is a fast-paced literary mystery involving a secret society, art forgery, and the Hindenburg disaster.

Born to an American mother and a British father, Tom Lynch lives with his mother in America until she sends him off to his appointed guardian in England, Patrick Grimshaw. Grimshaw becomes a surrogate father to Tom, who never knew his real father, and he inducts Tom into the mysterious Delaquay Society, an organization based on the works of Alfred Delaquay, a book illustrator of considerable genius and perversity. The books Delaquay illustrated were produced by hand, seldom in editions of more than one, and their reproduction or sale is prohibited by the Society. As its youngest-ever English secretary, Tom becomes increasingly involved with the Delaquay Society, until a breach of the Society's conventions of secrecy blows apart its hermetic and obsessively closed world and he is caught up in the resulting chaos. As the manner of his life begins to exact a heavy toll, so the Society takes its own terrible revenge, and Tom Lynch comes finally to understand who he really is and where he came from.
 

About Alan Wall

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Alan Wall was born in Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire and was educated there and at Pembroke College, Oxford. His previous book, Jacob, written in verse and prose, was short-listed for the Hawthornden Prize. Since 1994 he has written regularly for The Spectator, Agenda, and The Jewish Quarterly. He is married with three children and lives in London.
 
Published January 1, 1997 by SECKER & WARBURG. 211 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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and now just to receive one of them—the Dante, Milton, or Blake—requires becoming a member of the secret Delaquay Society and upholding its truths forever, including the vow never ever to gain a penny from Delaquay.

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