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The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
The Meaning of Night is set in Victorian England. It's narrated by Edward Glyver, confessing to the murder he's committed and the ones he's planning to commit. Raised by a single mother, he develops a love of books and finds himself at Eton, convinced he is destined for greatness. Eton is also where he first meets Phoebus Daunt, who becomes his long time nemesis, and becomes the reason Glyver must leave Eton. Glyver finds he is really the son of Lady Tansor, and he believes he is the rightful heir to the great country estate, Evenwood. He discovers that the man in line to inherit what should be his birthright is none other than Daunt himself. It's a world of opium, brothels, revenge, and murder. Michael Cox's novel (which took more than 30 years to write) has received mostly positive reviews with the USA Today saying, "Although a weighty 700 pages, the story is unfailingly suspenseful."