From the first chapter, which kicks off in the restored Great Midland Hotel at St Pancras Station:
Gilbert Scott's great curving stair takes Alex down to the busy lobby. He shakes out his black, wide-brimmed hat (yeah, Oscar Wilde) and claps it onto his head, trying to look nonchalant despite the ball of acid cramping his stomach. A doorman in plum uniform and top hat opens a polished plate glass door and Alex walks out into bronze sunlight and the roar of traffic shuddering along Euston Road.
To the north, black rainclouds are boiling up, bunching and streaming as if on fast forward. There's a charge in the air; everyone is walking quickly, despite the heavy heat. Every other person carries an umbrella. It's monsoon weather.