I was quite impressed with this first novel. Captain Lacey is a genuinely honorable protagonist--sometimes /too/ honorable, which gets him into no end of trouble. I enjoyed seeing the seedier side of London in the Regency area. Lacey isn't rich, far from it. His time in the Napoleonic War hasn't done him any favors, either, leaving him with a damaged leg and a severe case of melancholia.
He is, perhaps, a bit better off in his choice of friends:
Lucius Grenville is a gentleman with a lot of money and curiosity to spare. Lacey isn't quite sure if Grenville's friendship is really all it's cracked up to be, but the gentleman's connections are useful.
Louisa and Col. Brandon: Lacey's former commanding officer, and now bitter enemy. The enmity between them isn't fully explained, which leads me to hope that there will more revealed in later books. I got the sense that Lacey may be in love with Louisa, although he seems to put women on pedestals, so I can't be sure.
James Denis: Not a friend. A shady underworld character whom Lacey despises. He has useful contacts as well, although Lacey hates working with him.
Plus a motley assortment of beggars, street girls, and people of questionable morals.
I truly enjoyed this book. It moved at a fast pace, and kept me engaged(which is not an easy thing to do, given the size of my TBR pile). It was refreshing to explore the lives of people who are not of the gentry.
There's a risk that Lacey's chivalry may begin to grate, but we'll see. As for now, I'm looking forward to the next installment of the series.