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Description de l’éditeur
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.
In Hodgson's debut novel, set in 1727 London, 25-year-old gentleman-rake Tom Hawkins is robbed of his last farthing and, shortly thereafter, tossed unceremoniously into the city's nightmarish debtor's prison, The Marshalsea Gaol. Once the gates slam shut, the author's fluid style and fertile imagination (assisted by considerable existing diaries and other firsthand accounts) are in full force as she takes her antihero through a series of dire straits and hairbreadth escapes. Lee's upper-class London accent fits Hawkins's narration well, catching his air of roguish charm the aural equivalent of a jaunty swagger. His interpretation of Sam Fleet, Hawkins's off-putting cellmate, includes a moist, smarmy manner of speech, ripe with sinister innuendo. For the wellborn widow of Fleet's former roommate, Captain Roberts, who visits the prison calling for an investigation into his death, Lee uses a fluty, properly posh delivery. And he's equally successful in finding voices for the other inhabitants of Marshalsea, from the snarling, angry gatekeeper Cross to the aggressively cheery owner of the gaol's coffeehouse, jolly Sarah Bradshaw. An HMH/Mariner hardcover.