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The English Monster (Charles Horton 1) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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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: 24.1 x 3.1 x 16.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 934,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


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