Egg-stealing in the Scottish highlands, fraud and felony on the streets of London, and strange goings-on in the fens Captivating and ingenious, full of suspense and teeming with life, KEPT is a Victorian mystery about the extreme and curious things men do to get what they want. August 1863. Henry Ireland, a failed landowner, dies unexpectedly in a riding accident, leaving a highly-strung young widow. Not far away lives Ireland s friend James Dixey, a celebrated naturalist who collects strange trophies, a stuffed bear, a pet mouse, and a wolf that he keeps caged in the grounds of his decaying house, lost in the fog on the edge of the fens. The poachers, Dewar and Dunbar, with their cargo of pilfered eggs; Esther the observant kitchen maid, pining to be re-united with her vanished admirer; the ancient lawyer Mr Crabbe made careless by snobbery; John Carstairs, in search of his cousin, the elusive widow; an enigmatic debt-collector, busily plotting an audacious robbery; various low-life henchmen; and Captain McTurk of Scotland Yard, patiently investigating the circumstances of the Mr Ireland s death and many other things besides all are drawn into a net of intrigue with wide and
Born in 1960, David Taylor is a novelist, critic and acclaimed biographer of William Thackeray and George Orwell. His Orwell- The Life won the Whitbread Biography of the Year for 2003. He is married and lives in Norwich.