Release Date: 04/06/15
Spring, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is dragged through the streets of London to the gallows at Tyburn. The crowds jeer and curse as he passes, calling him a murderer. He tries to remain calm. His name is Tom Hawkins and he is innocent. Somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him. It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy with Kitty Sparks. Life was good. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was 'bored and looking for adventure'. He should never have offered to help Henrietta Howard, the king's mistress, in her desperate struggles with a brutal husband. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man. Based loosely on actual events, Antonia Hodgson's new novel is both a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea and a standalone historical mystery. From the gilded cage of the Court to the wicked freedoms of the slums, it reveals a world both seductive and deadly. And it continues the rake's progress of Tom Hawkins - assuming he can find a way to survive the noose...
Ah, as a reader of Historical Crime, I love to spend time in the past with characters who not only feel real but demonstrate that no matter when you look in on the human condition that in some ways we’re all still as primitive as well as suffers of the same problems with just the technology changing.
Antonia returns to the time period of her first book “The Devil of Marshalsea” and goes on to further the story of Thomas Hawkins, a player and gamer who has now left the debtor’s prison to which he was within on the previous outing. Here you get a cracking murder mystery, a character who hopes for the intervention as we travel backwards and forwards as we see what has led him to his present predicament.
Its wonderfully rich, has some cracking supporting cast members and when you add good prose, cracking dialogue alongside an arc that readers will just love to spend time with leaves you in no doubt that Antonia’s world is not only rich but one you’ll want to spend plenty more time in.