ove and lies in LondonComing back to Earth with a jolt, Michael Moorcock's latest alternate history, King of the City, jumps right into action in late 1990s London. Dennis Dover is a paparazzo. He chases the rich and famous and whenever he can, he takes their photographs in compromising situations. He has managed a comfortable life so far, but it all comes apart when he takes a picture of the richest man in the world in flagrante delecto with a duchess in the Caribbean. There are many problems with this picture, not the least of which is that the man had been buried more than a year before.
King of the City is a dense, complicated whirling dervish of a novel. Dover ranges backward and forward in time, telling stories within stories, exploring the languages of London, love and storytelling itself. Dover's voice is so certain and strong that the reader is bound to follow. Even when we discover he is an unreliable narrator, never as fully informed as he thinks he is, even when weak, blind and recovering in a hospital, he demands and receives our attention. King of the City is an energetic tour de force from a writer who makes the words, the people the very city itself speak.
Gavin J. Grant lives in Brooklyn, where he reviews, writes and publishes speculative fiction.