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Fiction/Historical Fiction


By Andy Brown

Perfect-bound paperback | 5.5 x 8.5 | 258 pages | March 5, 2024 | 978-1961864047


A sordid death in Victorian London leads to one man's relentless pursuit to better himself in a Dickensian world rich with modern echoes...


A boy drowns in the sewers of Victorian London...

His death leads to the orphaning of his surviving brothers, Arthur and Silas, in a grim Dickensian underworld. Overcoming the odds, the brothers' fates shift from grinding poverty to reversals of fortune that play out in conflicting and emotional ways. Which of them will make the right decision for their future, and at what cost? Painting vivid images of destitution, family ties, the dignity of work, and social responsibility, The Midnight Mechanic explores a man's relentless pursuit to better himself, to escape the muck and make amends, while raising pressing environmental issues that are still pertinent today.


The Midnight Mechanic


“An unflinching depiction of 19th century London, and a vividly evoked and fast-moving tale of promises kept-and-broken, brotherly love, and fortitude.”

—Virginia Baily, winner of the McKitterick Prize, and author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, Early One Morning


The Midnight Mechanic is a pacy, Dickensian foray into the sewers of Victorian London. Brown's hardscrabble characters carry a heady ponk of corruption and unbridled ambition, ultimately revealing humanity’s wormlike striving for sunlight above soil. With its rival brothers, industry bosses, and double-crossing gangsters, Brown has created a weird, dirty, wild world.”

—Rob Magnuson Smith, author of Seaweed Rising and Scorper. Winner of the Faulkner-Wisdom gold medal for fiction, and the international Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize


The Midnight Mechanic is both vividly original and scrupulously researched. Andy Brown recreates a little known but fascinating segment of London’s Dickensian past, imbuing it with clear implications for our present environmental concerns.”

—Vesna Goldsworthy, FRSL, author of Gorsky, Monsieur Ka, and Iron Curtain


The Midnight Mechanic takes us into the impressively conjured world of Victorian England's crippling poverty. I love this book for the sheer tactility of its portrayals of characters and urban cityscapes, and the way the reader is immediately sucked into the drama of the novel. Brown imbues his characters’ lives with resilience, hope and the kind of drama that sweep us up from the very first page. The Midnight Mechanic is an imaginative triumph.”

—Jacob Ross, FRSL, author of Pynter Bender, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize; The Bone Readers, awarded the Jhalak Prize; Black Rain Falling; and the collected short stories Tell No-One About This