Wednesday, 24 August 2016

HISTORICAL CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: Thomas Hawkins 3: A Death at Fountains Abbey - Antonia Hodgson

Release Date: 25/08/16
Publisher:  Hodder


Late spring, 1728 and Thomas Hawkins has left London for the wild beauty of Yorkshire - forced on a mission he can't refuse. John Aislabie, one of the wealthiest men in England, has been threatened with murder. Blackmailed into investigating, Tom must hunt down those responsible, or lose the woman he loves forever.

Since Aislabie is widely regarded as the architect of the greatest financial swindle ever seen, there is no shortage of suspects.

Far from the ragged comforts of home, Tom and his ward Sam Fleet enter a world of elegant surfaces and hidden danger. The great estate is haunted by family secrets and simmering unease. Someone is determined to punish John Aislabie - and anyone who stands in the way. As the violence escalates and shocking truths are revealed, Tom is dragged, inexorably, towards the darkest night of his life.

Inspired by real characters, events and settings, A Death at Fountains Abbey is a gripping standalone historical thriller. It also continues the story that began with the award-winning The Devil in the Marshalsea and The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins.


Plot lines in titles can often become not only convoluted but overly complex and it takes an author with great skill to keep not only the events within on track but to also make sure that the tale doesn’t become mired in Gordian knots that no one can untangle regardless of how well written the book is.

Antonia has always done this for me as a reader as she carefully blends personal issues into a story with greater effects to the world as a whole feeling not only a natural occurance but both with equal importance to the tale. Add to this her delightful manner of bringing the principle characters to the fore, adding dialogue that develops the world further as well as allowing the reader what feels like a snapshot into the past. Back this up with some cracking authorial manipulations, some cracking twists as well as life and death decisions left me as a reader not only short of breath as various scenes concluded but one that just felt that the book couldn’t be left until I found out all the facts alongside conclusion as this standalone title concluded.

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