Author : Laura Shepherd-Robinson
Title : Blood & Sugar
Pages : 430
Publisher : Mantle
Publication date : January 24, 2019
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.
Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .
To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.
And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford…
| MY THOUGHTS |
Historical crime fiction is quickly becoming my new favourite genre!
It’s the summer of 1781. At Deptford Dock, the body of a man is found hanging from a hook. He’s been tortured, branded with a slaver’s mark and had his throat cut. A few days later, our main protagonist Captain Harry Corsham receives a visit from the sister of an old friend. She tells him her brother, Tad, a fierce abolitionist who is convinced he’s found a way to expose a secret that will pave the way to put an end to slavery, has gone missing.
Colour me incredibly ignorant, but I had no idea England had a slave history too. For some reason, when slavery is mentioned I always think of America. Slavery is a lucrative business so how do you go about tackling the injustice of it all when the people who are making so much money from it are also in power? Needless to say, some of the events in this book are quite uncomfortable to read. Slaves were not seen as humans, but as property; goods to be sold and resold, treated like dirt.
There are quite a few characters to come to grips with in this story, none of whom could be trusted. I had a bit of a struggle getting them all straight in my head but once that happened, it was smooth sailing. As Harry digs deeper into all the things that are going on in Deptford to try and find out what happened to Tad, danger lurks around pretty much every corner. I couldn’t at all figure out who was behind Tad’s murder or who was trying to stop Harry from finding out the truth.
Blood & Sugar is a compelling, tense and brilliantly written historical crime fiction novel. It oozes atmosphere, has a wide range of intriguing characters and all the while, it shines a spotlight on a horrible era in England’s past. An impressive debut from Laura Shepherd-Robinson, for sure.
Book 9 from my 20 Books of Summer list