In this spirited new adventure with the affable rogue and fallen gentleman Thomas Hawkins, our hero prays for a royal pardon as he relives the espionage, underground dealings, and murder accusations that sent him to the gallows.
Winner of the CWA Historical Dagger Award
A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Crime/Mystery Novel of 2016
“Historical fiction just doesn’t get any better than this.” — Jeffery Deaver
“A rip-roaring ride . . . Wonderfully atmospheric and entertaining.” — Good Housekeeping
“Impeccably researched and astonishingly atmospheric . . . Truly spellbinding.” — Guardian
London, 1728. Tom Hawkins is headed to the gallows, accused of murder. Gentlemen don’t hang, and Tom’s damned if he’ll be the first—he is innocent, after all.
It’s hard to say when Tom’s troubles began. He was happily living in sin with his beloved—though their neighbors weren’t happy about that. He probably shouldn’t have told London’s great criminal mastermind that he was in need of adventure. Nor should he have joined the king’s mistress in her fight against her vindictive husband. And he definitely shouldn’t have trusted the calculating Queen Caroline. She’s promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue, but there’s nothing more silent than a hanged man. Now Tom’s scrambling to save his life and protect those he loves. But as the noose tightens, his time is running out.
“Hodgson maintains pitch-perfect suspense, craftily constructs a fairly clued whodunit, and convincingly evokes the period . . . [This book] solidifies her position as a major talent in the genre.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The flavor of a good mystery . . . Hodgson (editor-in-chief of Little, Brown U.K.) even introduces a clever narrative strategy . . . Chock full of intrigue, heroism, wickedness . . . and even some redemption. A fun historical read.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Hodgson has provided another pell-mell romp through the top and bottom of English society, as seen through the eyes of a gentleman who is both a rogue and a naïf. Those who relish their historical action fast and vivid will enjoy the second installment of Hawkins’s misadventures.” —Library Journal, starred review
“As good as her stellar debut . . . Hodgson maintains pitch-perfect suspense, craftily constructs a fairly clued whodunit, and convincingly evokes the period. This second novel by the editor in chief at Little, Brown U.K. solidifies her position as a major talent in the genre.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“With a dramatic storytelling style that includes many unsavory characters, Hodgson keeps readers on tenterhooks as Hawkins nears the gallows. Suspenseful and filled with witty dialogue, this series is reminiscent of James McGee’s atmospheric Matthew Hawkwood novels and has the descriptive appeal of Sara Stockbridge’s Victorian mystery Grace Hammer.“ —Booklist
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