A story of friendship, mystery and madness, The Antiquarian is prefaced with a cryptic list of real people who were killed for doing mad things: Anne Askew quenched the thirst of her chicks with her own blood and they killed her for it: 1546.The story begins with our unreliable narrator, Gustavo, visiting his friend Daniel in an insane asylum. Daniel, committed for killing his fiancée, wants to explain what really happened that night--but it isn’t as simple as that, and Gustavo must unravel his friend’s veiled clues in order to finally discover the truth.The Antiquarian was an uncommon murder mystery, but still a murder mystery. The narrative is riddled with the awful and macabre: rape, obsession and books made of human flesh. Everyone is flawed or diseased—either bodily or mentally. And that’s what I took from this, we are all susceptible to being consumed by our passions; we are all a little bit mad*Caveat Emptor: There were several breathtaking sentences in this novel—and by breathtaking, I mean they were so long I lost my breath. The imagery was forceful. The prose was beautiful and sophisticated. The narrative was winding and Poe-like. As the story explores madness, passion and mystery, the style really worked in creating a haunting atmosphere. But, wow, some of the sentences were page long doozies. While never a slog, I didn’t take to this book easily. I had to put it down and come back to it several times before I hit on the right mood. This is not a book for everyone, but I’m glad I didn’t give up.