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Staymaker:The Downfall of Thomas Kingsmill and the Hawkhurst Gang [Kindle Edition]

Andy Millen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Two Brothers on either side of the law. Tom Kingsmill, a notorious gazetted Smuggler, and his brother Arthur, the Revenue man sworn to stop him.
Set in 1740's England and based on the real events leading to the downfall of the Hawkhurst Gang, This gritty novel follows the gang as they rise from the ashes of the Battle of Goudhurst to their heyday when they ruled the South-east, with the revenue powerless to stop them.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 831 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GF2AC82
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hail and Welcome to my Page. My writing mainly focuses history's real bad guys in the 18th Century, when those tasked with their apprehension were not the organised police force of today. I write what I enjoy to read - so expect hard hitting violence with a side order of of breathless excitement.
I live in the Highlands of Scotland, enjoy walking, music (I write a column for Metaltalk.net )and reading.

I can be found on Twitter - @Ronniesoak and my website/blog http://http://andymillen.wordpress.com/ where I will post reviews, Short stories and Flash Fiction, and other random stuff.

Feedback always welcome, beers more so. Cheers and T'ra

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book But... 21 Dec. 2013
By Rick K
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant book that gripped me from start to finish but if only the proof reading was better. This was annoying in parts but doesn't hinder the reader too much, it's just a shame that's all. The plot is exceptional and the characters of that violent period in time are brought to life with real skill by the author with many twists and turns and I won't give anything away because this is a book that deserves to be read. A belter of a book and one of the best that I have read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Moonfleet for the modern reader 7 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Staymaker is the first book by indie author Andy Millen, and is something of a departure for my reading pile for, while it is in the strictest sense a historical novel, it is much more ‘gangland’ than ‘blitzkrieg’.

The novel revolves around the smuggling rackets of the mid 18th century – a time when the government duty on good such as rum and tea and bans on export of wool along with compulsory sales systems were making the poor poorer. Thus rose groups, gangs and families who were by the letter of the law criminals, yet considered themselves ‘free traders’ and were often hailed as something of a dark hero by local residents and the folk they supplied at vastly improved rates.

And therein lies something of what drew me to it.

This is not a straight tale of bad guys and good guys. Every man in Staymaker is a shade of grey (though some are darker than others.) The tale and the action that unfolds within will evoke memories of old movies, series and books that you have probably forgotten. Moonfleet. Poldark. Jamaica Inn. Even Treasure Island and kidnapped. That certain era of history. And it really does evoke it. It is a well-written, well-characterised and well-plotted novel that brings us the story of a gang and its leaders who bear in many ways a resemblance to the Krays of the mid 60s in East London. Yes they were dangerous and even murderous men. But to the folk who lived around them, there was a certain respect (speaking as a man who has family who lived around them) for the levels of control they kept which prevented random crimes from afflicting the common folk.

I feel certain that you will experience the time and the location through the telling of the tale, and certain scenes are so nicely put together that they are almost cinematic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book, fact and fiction combined to tell a great story of the Hawkhurst Gang, as I live in Hawkhurst I could relate to the places mentioned in the book, great read.
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By Ray
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The well-researched and well-told story really deserves four or five stars. As I live close to Hawkhurst the historically accurate novel made fascinating reading. The author cleverly tweaked historical fact to enhance the plot. I loved it. BUT I was repeatedly irritated by the poor editing. There are so many mistakes in the text. A little more care in the editing would - for me, at least - have made this a top notch book. But it was well worth the Kindle download price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tale 1 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant tale of smuggling, underhanded deeds and the struggles of the lawmen of the time.

Excellent characterisation, and in some ways you couldn't help but sympathise with both sides.

Could have done with a proof reader, there were quite a few typos in the second half of the book, but other than that quite excellent.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, particularly fans of historical fiction.
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