The English Monster and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 2.80

or
 
   
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading The English Monster on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The English Monster [Hardcover]

Lloyd Shepherd
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 3.73 (29%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 24 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.67  
Hardcover 9.26  
Paperback 3.86  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 19.57  
Audio Download, Unabridged 15.20 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

1 Mar 2012
London, 1811. The twisting streets of riverside Wapping hold many an untold sin. Bounded by the Ratcliffe Highway to the north and the modern wonders of the Dock to the south, shameful secrets are largely hidden by the noise and glory of Trade. But two families have fallen victim to foul murder, and a terrified populace calls for justice. John Harriott, magistrate of the new Thames River Police Office, must deliver revenge up to them and his only hope of doing so is Charles Horton, Harriot's senior officer. Harriott only recently came up with a word to describe what it is that Horton does. It is detection. Plymouth, 1564. Young Billy Ablass arrives from Oxford armed only with a Letter of Introduction to Captain John Hawkyns, and the burning desire of all young men; the getting and keeping of money. For Hawkyns is about to set sail in a ship owned by Queen Elizabeth herself, and Billy sees the promise of a better life with a crew intent on gain and glory. The kidnap and sale of hundreds of human beings is not the only cursed event to occur on England's first officially-sanctioned slaving voyage. On a sun-blasted islet in the Florida Cays, Billy too is to be enslaved for the rest of his accursed days. Based on the real-life story of the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway murders, The English Monster takes us on a voyage across centuries, through the Age of Discovery, and throws us up, part of the human jetsam, onto the streets of Regency Wapping, policed only by Officer Horton.

Frequently Bought Together

The English Monster + The Poisoned Island
Buy the selected items together
  • The Poisoned Island 12.99


Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; First Edition edition (1 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857205358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857205353
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Given Amazon is a bookstore (among a great many other things), it seems a bit weird to be introducing myself on here. I mean, if you wandered into a real-world bookstore and there was an author standing there offering to fire random facts about himself at you, it'd be a bit off-putting. Wouldn't it? Or perhaps it'd be nice to bump into David Mitchell or Stephen King as you're browsing the racks.

So I'll keep this short, and do tell me to go away if it's getting a bit weird.

My name's Lloyd. I live in South London. I've got two children and a lovely wife (she's a headteacher). My first book, The English Monster, came out in 2012. My second, The Poisoned Island, followed in 2013. They're both set in London in the early 19th century, they both feature a proto-detective named Charles Horton and his magistrate John Harriott, and they both combine historical fiction with murder-mystery and a good healthy dash of the supernatural. They've been called 'Regency X-Files' and I rather like that.

If you're interested, I enjoy reading literary fiction, horror and some science fiction. My favourite book is The Portrait of a Lady. My favourite author - possibly by virtue of how many of his books I've read - is Stephen King. The best novels I've read recently were The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt.

I blog at www.lloydshepherd.com, I've got a Facebook page (Lloyd Shepherd: Author) and a pretty active Twitter account (@lloydshep). Do come and say hello. We can talk, then, without me feeling that I'm intruding.

Happy shopping!

Product Description

Review

`A brilliantly imagined historical crime novel that evokes such creations as Shardlake and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' - Sun

'The former journalist Lloyd Shepherd has researched the 1811 Ratcliffe Highway murders in Wapping for his The English Monster, a visceral debut which Simon & Schuster compares to Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell' -Independent on Sunday

`There is a dark twist - a spot of black-magical realism, if you like - about half way through Lloyd Shepherd's first novel that this reviewer has no desire to ruin for readers. In fact, so delicious and unexpected is this turn of events that it moves a book that is already part detective fiction, part historical novel and part pirate adventure into entirely new territory, adding themes of national philosophy and moral turpitude to a story as rich in ideas as it is in intrigue ... If all this sounds ambitious to the point of audacious for a debut novel, then suffice to say that Shepherd pulls it off ... The English Monster becomes as vivid an education as it is an entertainment. None of which is to mention that devilish twist in this tale' - Independent on Sunday

`The English Monster has a terrific idea at its core ... The book becomes a joyously, flamboyantly melodramatic scamper' - Guardian

`The English Monster is a riveting police procedural, a thrilling tale of life at sea, and an evocative piece of historical re-creation - all with an intriguing element of the fantastic that makes it irresistible. This is a novel that surprised and astounded me time and again' - Felix Palma, New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time

`Lloyd Shepherd's novel, The English Monster, dramatizes one of the most shocking of all real life crimes, the Ratcliffe Highway Murders of 1811, in which two families were brutally slaughtered ... Shepherd really gets under the skin of Regency London ... An ambitious novel' - Daily Telegraph

`Marvellous; what a concept and what a feel he has for both eras - I can smell old Wapping when I read it. First-class stuff' - Robert Low, Author of The Oathsworn Series and The Kingdom Series

'This gripping novel puts a fantastical spin on the old tale of terror ... his yarn is rich in atmosphere, taking us into smoky riverside inns, candle-lit panelled parlours and out into the rough streets around London s docks ... the power of the novel lies in its symbolism' - Financial Times

'As much as it is detective novel, historical tract, and magical tale, The English Monster is also a polemic ... A truly superb book, succeeding on every level. As a crime novel, it is unorthodox but rewarding. As a work of historical fiction, it serves up an evocative dose of swashbuckling, crime fighting and social commentary. As polemic, it mercilessly slices open the British soul, and deserves to provoke not just thought but debate. This is a five-star triumph from a writer with skills that belie his debutant status; buy it, and buy it now' - bookgeeks.co.uk

'Shepherd's debut dramatizes one of the Regency period's most shocking real-life crimes - the Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811, in which two families were found brutally butchered in the East End. But this is not the novel's only subject. In a parallel plot Shepherd takes us back 250 years earlier to the picaresque tale of Billy Ablass, a piratical young man who goes to sea with Francis Drake and John Hawkins. Just how these stories are interlinked lies at the book's dark heart. In a richly atmospheric read, the real "monster" of the piece proves to be England's colonial and buccaneering past' - Independent , 29/9

'A novel that skilfully interlaces the real with the imagined' --Daily Express, 5/10

'This gripping novel puts a fantastical spin on the old tale of terror ... his yarn is rich in atmosphere, taking us into smoky riverside inns, candle-lit panelled parlours and out into the rough streets around London s docks ... the power of the novel lies in its symbolism' --Financial Times

'As much as it is detective novel, historical tract, and magical tale, The English Monster is also a polemic ... A truly superb book, succeeding on every level. As a crime novel, it is unorthodox but rewarding. As a work of historical fiction, it serves up an evocative dose of swashbuckling, crime fighting and social commentary. As polemic, it mercilessly slices open the British soul, and deserves to provoke not just thought but debate. This is a five-star triumph from a writer with skills that belie his debutant status; buy it, and buy it now' --bookgeeks.co.uk

About the Author

Lloyd Shepherd is a former journalist and digital producer who has worked for the Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC and Yahoo. He lives in South London with his family. The English Monster is his first novel.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, gruesome and gripping 12 April 2012
Format:Hardcover
Lloyd Shepherd's debut, The English Monster, begins with a puzzle: six pirates are hanged from the gallows by a river; five of them are dead, but one of them is only pretending to be dead.

It is an enticing hook - macabre and gory - and sets the tone for a yarn which is part pirate adventure, part detective story, part historical fiction and part horror.

The novel is broadly set over two time periods, with two narratives.

In 1564 (during the reign of Queen Elizabeth) a flotilla of ships, captained by John Hawkyns, is on a clandestine trade mission; his crew includes Billy Ablass, a young man seeking his fortune.

In `the present' (1811), the local officials in Shadwell and Wapping bungle the investigation into a set of apparently motiveless killings, which will go down in history as the Ratcliffe Highway murders. The jaded magistrate, John Harriott, undertakes to catch the perpetrator, with the assistance of Waterman-Constable Charles Horton.

John Hawkyns's voyage, a real historical event, was the first official attempt to exploit what Shepherd chillingly refers to as `African treasure'. Rumours fly above and below decks as Billy Abless pieces together the purpose of their grizzly assignment. It will spawn a global trade, generating fabulous wealth for some - and unimaginable suffering for a great many others. The riches seem to be guaranteed; the question becomes whether Billy will return to his beloved wife, Kate, with his body and soul still intact?

Meanwhile, the 19th century murders take place in a filthy maritime metropolis on the Thames. Trade (with a capital `T') is the lifeblood of the riverside community now living in fear. Law and Order, by comparison, is still in its infancy.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The year is 1811. On the streets of Wapping, a family have been brutally slaughtered in their home. There is no motive and the police on land have no interest in investigations. However the watermen who patrol the river have other ideas. Jump back in time to 1564 and a ship is setting sail to the coast of Africa, embarking on a mission that will change history, and not for the better.

The English Monster paints a murky picture of Britain's maritime history, there's a real sense of how the streets of around London's burgeoning docklands would have felt at the time. There are lots of historical elements woven into the fiction and there is a pretty comprehensive author's note to explain what is more fact than fiction and vice versa, just in case you keep putting the book down to google names and events. It is not straight historical fiction so history purists may want to back away now. It's hard to explain this novel without spoilers but it will help to keep an open mind that something other may be going on. I think the author has hinted enough to this fact in interviews that it will not be too big of a spoiler on my shoulders.

Based on the real life Ratcliffe Highway murders, it also highlights the huge difference between the early days of policing and what we know now. The city-based police did not care at all about solving crimes and were most likely to arrest criminals caught in the act or if they conveniently fell at their feet. Don't expect a riveting historical police procedure because, in all seriousness, they were no procedures. This is itself is a fascinating facet of the novel.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An oustandingly original debut 9 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The English Monster is a rare type of book, because it is one that I will recommend to people without me being entirely sure how satisfied I was with it overall. Let me explain. As reading any random plot synopsis will tell you, this is a two thread story, with one part following the investigation into brutal murders carried out in Wapping in the 19th century, and the being set (initially) in the 16th century with a distinctly pirate flavour to it.

The genius behind this book is in the premise. These two stories are clearly connected, and the connection is pretty much handed to the reader about a third of the way through the book. But even then a distinct layer of mystery remains, and as the book progresses the reader essentially watches as to jigsaw pieces (being the two plot lines) edge closer together. The individuals stories are interesting, and the book did hold my attention with little difficulty.

The problem is that I'm not sure whether it actually worked by the end. The book is steeped in historical fiction but also possesses a clear supernatural edge. Yet the mystery has no supernatural element, and the murders fundamentally could be drawn from any crime novel (albeit they did actually happen and are clearly shocking in themselves). As a result I just didn't feel like the detective story ended up clicking quite right with the far more fantastical pirate story, as skilfully as the plot was constructed. For all the entertainment value that the book provided to me as I was reading it, when I put it down I just didn't quite feel as satisfied as I should have been.

Yet it is difficult to criticise Shepherd with any degree of force for this, because as a debut novel The English Monster is an ambitious breath of fresh air, and is the sort of book that should be encouraged. As such I recommend it, even if I can't quite shake the fact that I wasn't wholly satisfied by it when all was said and done.
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Slow Burner
When I was reading the first few chapters of this fantastic book I really wondered where it was going; the alternate chapters set in different centuries seemed to have no... Read more
Published 1 month ago by lbeeswax
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good!
Dealing both with some famous London murders in 1811 and with the adventures of a young farmer in the 16th century 'the English Monster' is a clever tale of adventure and revenge. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. Lacroix
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Bought as a gift for my boyfriend who reports that although it was a bit hard to get into a first, after a few chapters he couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by CatFanatic
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, gripping and compelling
A truly excellent, atmospheric period thriller that I enjoyed tremendously. A really good read that kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Knapton
1.0 out of 5 stars Someone explain the point of this book
What a horrible reading experience! I only ploughed through it because we'd chosen it for Book Club. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Leonore
2.0 out of 5 stars The only Monster is the Book
Hard to follow one minute back knows when the next minute brought forward, story line not that good will not be buying the authors second Novel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Grandad bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
This book can be enjoyed in so many ways. Well researched, interesting concept with twists and surprises presented with intelligent writing. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Hal Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding and clever novel
This is without question the finest novel I have read this year - brilliantly tying in 2 diverse storylines drawing on an actual horrific event and another fictional event that... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mikhail The Terrible
4.0 out of 5 stars Good holday read
Took with me as part of my holiday reading and couldn't put it down.
A great read with a few twists that I liked
Published 8 months ago by altoland
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller
Edge of the seat stuff, Loyd Shepard is certainly an author to watch. Will be purchasing his next work with interest.
Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xabacf624)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback