'In the wakeful misery of the night, girded by sordid realities, or wandering through Paradises and Hells of visions ... I loved you madly'
Dickens' last novel is a mystery built around a presumed crime - the murder of a nephew by his uncle. Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. Beyond the preoccupying fact of this intriguing crime, however, the novel also offers readers a characteristically Dickensian mix of the fantastical world of the imagination and a vibrantly journalistic depiction of gritty reality.
Penguin English Library