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4.4 out of 5 stars
342
4.4 out of 5 stars
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The Devil in the Marshalsea is the first in a historical crime series by Antonia Hodgson, featuring Tom Hawkins. Set in 1727 in the debtor’s prison Marshalsea in London, it is all about the hunt for a killer!

Imagine owing money to creditors and falling on hard times. In 1727, you would be sent to a debtor’s prison, which could possibly be the death of you. Debtor’s prisons were run for profit and prisoners were expected to pay for meals and accommodation. They were forced to negotiate their debts and treated as criminals. Social hierarchies were very much in existence, with rooms for the ‘masters’ who could pay and the ‘common’ cattle class for those who could not. Death and torture were a part of life. Into this setting, comes Tom Hawkins. Hawkins is your eighteenth century lad; a bloke into women, booze and gambling. His only means of escape from this hellish place is to solve a murder. A man is said to be haunting the place, the ghost of Captain Roberts. Roberts was murdered and his room mate is the prime suspect. Hawkins is soon risking his life, in a place where danger is round every corner and it is impossible to know who to trust.

Based on what actually took place in the Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison, Hodgson takes us on a marvellous and terrifying journey. Hodgson creates this amazing world, where you can imagine the depravity and insanitary conditions. Tom Hawkins must use all of his cunning, leave his naivety behind and see beneath the grime and the deception. There is something about him, that charms and captivates. At heart, he is a good man. He suffers and he cares. This is a mystery, with a prison full of suspects and the clock ticking.

Absolutely enjoyable and incredibly well paced. I raced through this, completely addicted to the gritty, down to earth feel of a nightmarish prison and eighteenth century life. Thomas Hawkins has a new fan in me! Recommended.
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Antonia Hodgson has written a brilliant triology starting right here.

If you love historical fiction, detective books, or just great books, then pick up her Thomas Hawkins books now. A must read. You learn all about the squalor and trials of living in London. You want to find out who the devil really is. Smoke and mirrors.

Book 1 is A Devil in the Marshalsea. Book 2 is The Last Confessions of Thomas Hawkins. Book 3 is A Death at Fountains Abbey. I have read them all and loved them all.
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on 28 June 2016
I enjoyed this book. Characters are real. Description of the time was so good that I felt I was there. A good mystery that kept you guessing until the h end.
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on 22 July 2016
Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this great read. All the twists and turns that you want in a good crime thriller but laced with gritty Georgian manners. There's plenty of rough and tumble with heaps of historical fact thrown in for good measure.
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on 10 September 2016
I just love this type of fiction set in past times. The setting was beautifully realised and evocative and the writing was intelligent and not overblown. Historical whodunnit at its best
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on 15 August 2016
Run's along at a good rate. Very interesting as to the life and times of the 1700's well researched .
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on 2 June 2017
Really enjoyed reading the novel, part of a Trilogy, these were recommended to me and it is so different to read a novel set in the rather smelly early 18th century.
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on 4 August 2017
Wow, what a story! I was living in 1700s for a while and it sparked my interest in the era as well. I would totally see Aidan Turner as the main character.
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on 28 September 2016
Very enjoyable story with good back ground history
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on 16 April 2017
Really enjoyed this book. Set in 1700s, the author adds accurate detail to the setting the scene of the era and the character personalities are expressed perfectly. Very well written book. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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