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The Scent of Death

The Scent of Death [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Taylor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Andrew Taylor is arguably the most consummate writer of historical fiction today. He achieves to perfection the crucial balance between the mystery to be solved and the historical context surrounding it. A mesmeric read’ The Times

‘An absorbing and harrowing epic historical detective novel … Taylor is as good at this period as C. J. Sansom is at Tudor England, and like him pulls off novels that work both as literary fiction and detective stories’ Independent

‘Andrew Taylor has been producing superb historical fiction since long before Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker wins bestowed literary respectability on the genre’ Daily Telegraph

‘Taylor once again shows how skilful a historical novelist he is’ The Sunday Times

Product Description

*WINNER of the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award 2013*
‘Andrew Taylor wrote superb historical fiction long before Hilary Mantel was popular’ Daily Telegraph
From the No.1 bestselling author of THE AMERICAN BOY comes a new historical thriller set during the American War of Independence.

August, 1778. British-controlled Manhattan is a melting pot of soldiers, traitors and refugees, surrounded by rebel forces as the American War of Independence rages on.

Into this simmering tension sails Edward Savill, a London clerk tasked with assessing the claims of loyalists who have lost out during the war.

Savill lodges with the ageing Judge Wintour, his ailing wife, and their enigmatic daughter-in-law Arabella. However, as Savill soon learns, what the Wintours have lost in wealth, they have gained in secrets.

The murder of a gentleman in the slums pulls Savill into the city’s underbelly. But when life is so cheap, why does one death matter? Because making a nation is a lucrative business, and some people cannot afford to miss out, whatever the price…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 795 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (28 Feb 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095C0N9C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and many other awards. His books include the international bestseller, The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year; and The Scent of Death, winner of the CWA Historical Dagger.

He is the author of two Kindle Singles, both ghost stories - Broken Voices; and, most recently, The Leper House.

He lives on the borders of England and Wales. He is the Spectator's crime fiction reviewer.

For more information about Andrew Taylor and his books, see:

Follow on twitter: @andrewjrtaylor

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Manda Scott VINE VOICE
This has been my Easter reading: a chance to plunge once more into a time and place I know nothing about, in the company of one of the absolute masters of our genre - in fact, one of the masters of fiction, who takes the genre boundaries and bends them to breaking with a style and quiet intelligence that leave me always, wondering why I bother when there's this kind of greatness out there for people to buy.

The American Boy was his breakout and anyone who hasn't read his tale of the young Edgar Allen Poe's boyhood in England should put it top of their reading list. I was struck then by a sense of time and place that took me deeper, more powerfully into an era than anything else I'd ever read. There's a quality to the dialogue that feels so rawly authentic; the language, the pace, the careful courtesies that hide murder and mayhem.. nobody manages this era with this kind of skill.

The Scent of Death has that same powerful evocation. It's set in 1778 in New York, an enclave of the English Crown at the height of the Revolution; a place almost under siege, that depends on ships from England for provisions, while wrestling with the growing distinction between Americans and English. Into this comes Edward Savill, a Clerk from the American Office who nurtures hopes of preferment if he does his job well and whose slow realisation that he has, instead, been sidelined by his wife's cousin, a man who `does not like her more than half' (which is to say, he despises her) , who is his boss.
Because this is a historical thriller, Samuel is present when a body is fished out of the water as his boat comes in and another is found soon after his arrival.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very compelling book xx 8 Mar 2013
By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 50 REVIEWER
The Scent Of Death is set in New York during the American War Of Independence, where Edward Savill, an English clerk, is sent to New York to investigate claims by Loyalists that they have lost property. Soon Edward Savill is thrown into a murder enquiry after a body is discovered, and more secrets and danger await him...

I have never read a book by Andrew Taylor before this, so I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I really quite enjoyed this book! Having never read anything about The American War Of Independence, I must admit I did find it a little bit hard to get into the story at first, but within a few chapters I had settled into the narrative.

The descriptions in the book were very well-written. As soon as Savill arrived in America I could sense the atmosphere, and everything was so vivid that I could picture every single clearly in my mind. It was as if I'd been transported back in time, wow. Andrew Taylor has clearly done his research and it shows, for me the descriptions and setting were my favourite part of the story.

There is a lot to devour and uncover in this book. The Scent Of Death is brilliant for fans of historical novels or anyone with interest in the American War Of Independence. Not only that, but there is mystery, adventure, murder and suspense, making this an intriguing and compelling read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Adventure 7 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an historical novel set during the American War of Independence. Much of its action focuses on Manhattan, the last area of the United States under the control of King George. Into Manhattan flood all those British loyalists dispossessed by the expanding rebel armies.

The story is about Edward Savill, a clerk sent from London to investigate the claims for compensation by the colonists who have suffered losses. Even before his arrival in Manhattan, it is clear that nothing is really as it first appears and he soon finds himself embroiled in murder investigations and is tempted into affairs which are, perhaps, best left undiscovered.

As his tour of duty is extended and extended he finds himself involved with the family of Wintour family and when the husband returns from the army he is inveigled into undertaking a mission into enemy territory, the real purpose of which he could not have guessed at. When Savill receives bad news about his marriage and his posting finally arrives from England, he at last learns the truth and how in the fires of conflict, all is at the mercy of the armies who require gold to help them continue to wage war.

This is an excellent novel with brilliant attention to historical detail and to the characterisation of individuals. The slave trade and slavery in general is also explored and the inhumanity of lovers torn apart, mothers separated from their babies and the terrible crime of black daring to love white against the backdrop of the slave trade is laid bare in dramatic fashion.

The author creates a compelling picture of revolutionary America in the late eighteenth century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Generally enjoyable 17 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I very much enjoyed Andrew Taylor's The Anatomy of Ghosts and was looking forward to this one. It is not as good, but is still an enjoyable read.

Set in New York in 1779-79 during the War of Independence, the plot concerns Edward Savill, an English civil servant sent from London to deal with claims by Loyalists who have lost property during the fighting. Narrated in the first person by Savill the story develops into a mystery and an adventure in which he and his acquaintances become embroiled and endangered. I won't give away any plot - I wouldn't have wanted to know more than that before I started - but it is a period mystery/thriller which began well, dragged somewhat and then picked up for the last two hundred pages or so.

Taylor creates a very good sense of place and of period. The privations of a freezing winter are especially well done and I thought this a real strength of the book. His prose is easy to read and preserves a good sense of the language of the time while not sticking rigidly to it: a difficult balance which he pulls off very well. The plot unfolds at a leisurely pace, and while this can be very effective, I did feel that there wasn't quite enough real content to carry the book for quite long periods in the central section and I thought it could do with being a good deal shorter.

Nevertheless, I think this is a generally involving and enjoyable book, and I recommend it, especially if you like historical fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
An enthralling tale of divided loyalties, illicit passion, and the untangling of a gruesome murder during the American War of Independence, when New York was an occupied city under... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jenny Barden
5.0 out of 5 stars A wondefullly engrossing book.
The historical details were very impressive. The main characteris totally believable and immediately gained my sympathy. I was utterly involved in all his dangerous enterprises.. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J.S Millward
5.0 out of 5 stars Intersting twists and turns
i enjoyed the insight into American history and the views apparently held by both sides in the War of Independence. A must for lovers of American history particularly old New York.
Published 3 months ago by Celia A. Keech
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Andrew Taylor for me never disappoints. Really enjoyed this novel set in New York during the war of Independence. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alexander P
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting
At school I dropped History so I was enthralled with the take on the American War of Independence. This keeps you on your toes right until the last page and want to read more... Read more
Published 4 months ago by lynne wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars The scent of death
This kept me up reading to nearly 3am one morning so that I could finish it before going on holiday. A great read with a gripping storyline. Loved it.
Published 4 months ago by Blue and white
5.0 out of 5 stars First class
First class as with everything by this writer. He deserves to be more widely known outside purely crime fiction circles
Published 5 months ago by Radmila May
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, brilliant!
Odd how one reviewer's experience of the same story can be 'dull' while another's is 'brilliant'! Mine is in the latter category of course. Read more
Published 5 months ago by RML
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent novel
I really loved this story, especially as it was set in a time and a place I know very little about. As ever, the characters were interesting, mysterious and there were many layers... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Earthymama
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh setting for a crime novel.
I really enjoyed this book. As a veiwer of the excellent Bradley Walsh's Crime writers programme, I was aware of the book as it was ome of their featured new releases. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ronk
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