Sunday, 12 September 2010

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Brothers Boswell - Philip Baruth

Release Date: 01/08/10


30th July, 1763. Two striking figures part the heaving crowd at London Bridge. Peddlers cease their haggling, ferrymen grow quiet, beggars stop and stare. Even the stink of the Thames seems to fade in the presence of Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell - history's most famous friends. Boswell, as charismatic and meticulously coiffed as Johnson is bullish and badly dressed, is eager to advance himself in literary society. Today he is to accompany the great Dr Johnson on an excursion up the Thames - and he is determined that nothing will go wrong. But another Boswell is watching from the shadows, insanely jealous of his elder brother's meteoric rise through London's coffeehouses and whorehouses, tenements and theatres, soirees and salons. He has two golden pistols in his pocket, a ferryboat at his disposal - and murder in his heart.


An imaginative and pretty engaging historical crime novel set in the 18th Century featuring Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. Whilst the arc really does grip you, it’s the author’s portrayal of London in 1763 that will stick with you, the everyday scenes that fascinate a modern reader also pass by with a believability that demonstrates the author’s skill with their craft. Finally back it all up with a great sense of pace and as a piece of escapism it is pretty resolute. Definitely a debut novel in the Historical Fiction genre that leaves me wondering what the author will do next as I’ve marked their name down to keep an eye out for future offerings.

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