I (finally) enjoyed Iridescence by Peter Wells. The book was a present from Steven a couple of years ago and I found the it difficult to get into, the first few chapters are heavy and written in great detail, which I found over the top. Past these few chapters (with Michael’s encouragement) the books becomes gripping and a real page turner. The action moved from New Zealand to London and back, with some real twists to the plot and surprises. I enjoyed the observations about life in Napier when it was being settled.
The book was inspired by the story of Ernest Boulton and Frederick Park who were infamous cross dressers in a sensational trial in the 1870s. The story in Iridescence includes the trial but mainly deals with what might have happened afterwards. The Boulton and Park duo also inspired one of the raunchier stories in the Sins of the Cities of the Plain, which was written about 10 years after the trial.
From this web page a ‘before’ and after of Frederick Park: