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.
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.