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The Devil in the Marshalsea

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Devil in the Marshalsea.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Antonia Hodgson(Author) John Lee(Narrator)

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London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels and coffee-houses to the hell of a debtors' prison.

The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of the gaol's rutheless governor and his cronies.

The trouble is, Tom Hawkins has never been good at following rules - even simple ones. And the recent grisly murder of a debtor, Captain Roberts, has brought further terror to the gaol. While the Captain's beautiful widow cries for justice, the finger of suspicion points only one way: to the sly, enigmatic figure of Samuel Fleet.

Some call Fleet a devil, a man to avoid at all costs. But Tom Hawkins is sharing his cell. Soon, Tom's choice is clear: get to the truth of the murder - or be the next to die.

A twisting mystery, a dazzling evocation of early 18th Century London, THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA is a thrilling debut novel full of intrigue and suspense.

A splendid debut ... this is a truly spellbinding tale. (Guardian)Hodgson's utterly compelling debut is fiendishly plotted and dripping with atmosphere. I cannot wait for Tom Hawkin's next adventure. (Mark Billingham)It is the mesh of lies and duplicity that draws you into this brilliant first novel ...a blood-drenched investigation that twists and turns in the vortex of Georgian society (The Times)Historical fiction just doesn't get any better than this. Magnificent! (Jeffery Deaver)The pace is relentless ...an absolutely superb debut novel (Crime Review)Antonia Hodgson has a real feel for how people thought and spoke at the time - and God knows, that's a rare talent (Andrew Taylor, author of The Fires of London)Something new in the world of historical crime fiction, with mesmerising detail and atmosphere (Financial Times)Hodgson has a knack for convincing dialogue that crackles with period cadence and flavour (Daily Mail)Hodgson shows the seamy underbelly of Georgian London, and does for this era what C.J. Sansom and Rory Clements have done for Tudor times (Historical Novel Society)At times Hodgson even rivals Dickens (Daily Express)Any historical fiction enthusiast who isn't a Tom Hawkins fan, has probably just not read any yet (The Bookbag)A riveting historical thriller (Daily Mail)A book to be read by candlelight: part romance, part social history ...and a lesson in evil (John Taylor (Duran Duran))A damn'd good read (Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian)A hugely enjoyable and fast-paced story which takes the reader into the dark world of Georgian crime (Tracy Borman, author of Thomas Cromwell)A superb debut, tense and atmospheric, that beautifully evokes the dark underbelly of 18th Century London. I was gripped (Saul David)A wonderfully entertaining novel, twist and claustrophic as an underground maze (Maria McCann, author of The Wilding) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

2.3 (6754)
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Review Text

  • By Just another reader called Christine on 10 August 2016

    The Devil in the Marshalsea is the first in a historical crime series by Antonia Hodgson, featuring Tom Hawkins. Set in 1727 in the debtor’s prison Marshalsea in London, it is all about the hunt for a killer!Imagine owing money to creditors and falling on hard times. In 1727, you would be sent to a debtor’s prison, which could possibly be the death of you. Debtor’s prisons were run for profit and prisoners were expected to pay for meals and accommodation. They were forced to negotiate their debts and treated as criminals. Social hierarchies were very much in existence, with rooms for the ‘masters’ who could pay and the ‘common’ cattle class for those who could not. Death and torture were a part of life. Into this setting, comes Tom Hawkins. Hawkins is your eighteenth century lad; a bloke into women, booze and gambling. His only means of escape from this hellish place is to solve a murder. A man is said to be haunting the place, the ghost of Captain Roberts. Roberts was murdered and his room mate is the prime suspect. Hawkins is soon risking his life, in a place where danger is round every corner and it is impossible to know who to trust.Based on what actually took place in the Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison, Hodgson takes us on a marvellous and terrifying journey. Hodgson creates this amazing world, where you can imagine the depravity and insanitary conditions. Tom Hawkins must use all of his cunning, leave his naivety behind and see beneath the grime and the deception. There is something about him, that charms and captivates. At heart, he is a good man. He suffers and he cares. This is a mystery, with a prison full of suspects and the clock ticking.Absolutely enjoyable and incredibly well paced. I raced through this, completely addicted to the gritty, down to earth feel of a nightmarish prison and eighteenth century life. Thomas Hawkins has a new fan in me! Recommended.

  • By jude on 28 June 2016

    I enjoyed this book. Characters are real. Description of the time was so good that I felt I was there. A good mystery that kept you guessing until the h end.

  • By Gillian Bromwich on 22 July 2016

    Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this great read. All the twists and turns that you want in a good crime thriller but laced with gritty Georgian manners. There's plenty of rough and tumble with heaps of historical fact thrown in for good measure.

  • By Squiggle on 10 September 2016

    I just love this type of fiction set in past times. The setting was beautifully realised and evocative and the writing was intelligent and not overblown. Historical whodunnit at its best

  • By Dutchy on 15 August 2016

    Run's along at a good rate. Very interesting as to the life and times of the 1700's well researched .

  • By Mr. R.S. Goulding on 2 June 2017

    Really enjoyed reading the novel, part of a Trilogy, these were recommended to me and it is so different to read a novel set in the rather smelly early 18th century.

  • By Guest on 4 August 2017

    Wow, what a story! I was living in 1700s for a while and it sparked my interest in the era as well. I would totally see Aidan Turner as the main character.


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