A murderer on the loose . . . in prison.
WINNER OF THE CWA HISTORICAL DAGGER AWARD 2014. Longlisted for the John Creasey Dagger Award for best debut crime novel of 2014.
London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is about to fall from his heaven of card games, brothels and coffee-houses into the hell of a debtors' prison.
The Marshalsea is a savage world of its own, with simple rules: those with family or friends who can lend them a little money may survive in relative comfort. Those with none will starve in squalor and disease. And those who try to escape will suffer a gruesome fate at the hands of the gaol's rutheless governor and his cronies.
The trouble is, Tom Hawkins has never been good at following rules - even simple ones. And the recent grisly murder of a debtor, Captain Roberts, has brought further terror to the gaol. While the Captain's beautiful widow cries for justice, the finger of suspicion points only one way: to the sly, enigmatic figure of Samuel Fleet.
Some call Fleet a devil, a man to avoid at all costs. But Tom Hawkins is sharing his cell. Soon, Tom's choice is clear: get to the truth of the murder - or be the next to die.
A twisting mystery, a dazzling evocation of early 18th Century London, THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA is a thrilling debut novel full of intrigue and suspense.
I really did like this - it gives a wonderfully convincing picture of the seamier side of eighteenth-century life. (The novel is a sort of Tom Jones Noir, I suppose.) The narrative whips along. The picture of the Marshalsea is quite chilling. Antonia Hodgson has a real feel for how people thought and spoke at the time - and, God knows, that's a rare talent. I very much look forward to discovering what Tom Hawkins does next - I imagine it won't be a career in holy orders. - Andrew Taylor
A hugely enjoyable and fast-paced story which takes the reader into the dark world of Georgian crime. The vividly drawn cast of characters is worthy of Dickens himself. - Tracy Borman - Author of HENRIETTA HOWARD: KING'S MISTRESS, QUEEN'S SERVANT
A superb debut, tense and atmospheric, that beautifully evokes the dark underbelly of 18th century London. I was gripped. - Saul David
Historical fiction just doesn't get any better than this. THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA offers up a riveting, fast-paced story, a richness of tone and a depth of detail that would put most academics to shame. And good Tom Hawkins is one of the best protagonists to come along in years. Magnificent! - Jeffery Deaver
A perfectly realised scary and exciting world; this is a book to ?lose yourself in. - Jenny Colgan
A book to be read by candlelight: part romance, part social history . . . and a lesson in evil. -