The book begins in the early 18th century with Nicholas Dyer, an architect under Christopher Wren, who was in charge of building seven churches in the city of London. In each church he buried a horrible secret. Next chapter jumps to the 1980’s and introduces us to Detective Nicholas Hawksmoor who is the lead inspector trying to solve the recent murders at each of these churches. Ackroyd then alternates each chapter between the two times and main characters. Are you confused yet? Just to add a touch more pain to the reader (excuse me, realism), both protagonists share the same first name, and events happening in the 18th century were written in old English. It really took me until I was halfway through the book to get some sense and rhythm to it. I’ve heard this book described as groundbreaking, as brilliant, etc. and I suppose it really is all those things, but it also made for very confused (for me) reading. I almost gave up and abandoned it on more than one occasion but stubbornness won out and I finished it. Did I like it? Yes, on the whole I did but I did not love it. I would recommend this to literary academics or those who enjoy a reading challenge.