A satisfying and intelligent plot that grips from start to finish. Memorable characters, especially the Marshalsea itself which is so vividly rendered that the reader can taste the hot punch in the taproom - and smell the corpses of the poor rotting on the Common Side. A wonderful read: a cruel yet colourful period brought to compelling life.
A splendid debut ... this is a truly spellbinding tale.
Hodgson's utterly compelling debut is fiendishly plotted and dripping with atmosphere. I cannot wait for Tom Hawkin's next adventure.
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
Historical fiction just doesn't get any better than this. Magnificent!
The pace is relentless ...an absolutely superb debut novel
Antonia Hodgson has a real feel for how people thought and spoke at the time - and God knows, that's a rare talent
Something new in the world of historical crime fiction, with mesmerising detail and atmosphere
Hodgson has a knack for convincing dialogue that crackles with period cadence and flavour
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
At times Hodgson even rivals Dickens
Any historical fiction enthusiast who isn't a Tom Hawkins fan, has probably just not read any yet
A riveting historical thriller
A book to be read by candlelight: part romance, part social history ...and a lesson in evil
A damn'd good read
A hugely enjoyable and fast-paced story which takes the reader into the dark world of Georgian crime
A superb debut, tense and atmospheric, that beautifully evokes the dark underbelly of 18th Century London. I was gripped
A wonderfully entertaining novel, twist and claustrophic as an underground maze