"Baltakmens captures the flavor and scope of classic British fiction." —Kirkus Reviews
"The author's exquisite prose rushes along full of surprises, shadows, betrayal, and squalid situations where the high-born and criminals intermix. A superb mystery with vibrant characters." —Historical Novels Review
"This atmospheric, character-driven, and plot-twisty bildungsroman is a worthy paean to Oliver Twist and Great Expectations." —Booklist
A Murder. A Fall from Grace.
A Mysterious Symbol That Could Be the Key to One Man's Salvation
When the body of Thaddeus Grainger's rival turns up stabbed to death in an alley just hours after their inconclusive duel, only one suspect comes to mind. Charged with murder, Grainger's fate is sealed before his trial even begins.
A young gentleman of means but of meaningless pursuits, Grainger is cast into the notorious Bellstrom Gaol, where he must quickly learn to survive in the filthy, ramshackle prison. The "Bells"—where debtors, gaolers, harlots, thieves, and murderers all mix freely and where every privilege comes at a price—will be the young man's home for the rest of his life unless he can prove his innocence.
Despite his downfall, his friends—the journalist William Quillby and Cassie Redruth, the poor young girl who owes Grainger a debt of gratitude—refuse to abandon him. But before they can win his freedom, they must contend with forces both inside and outside the prison determined to keep Grainger behind bars and, at the same time, decode the meaning behind the crude wax seal that inspires terror in those who know its portent.
Set against the urban backdrop of late 18th-century England, The Raven's Seal unravels a tale of corruption, betrayal, murder, and—ultimately—redemption and love.
* Features an excerpt from Andrei Baltakmens’ new historical mystery, A Hangman for Ghosts, in the back of the book.
Wonderful story. The tone is very much like Dickens but much easier to read. Enjoyed it a lot.
Hated it to end...
Wonderful reading. The places, characters and plot were spot on! Highly recommend this mystery!!
A New Classic
How delightful to read a modern day author who has produced a book of literary content! I am so happy to have discovered this engaging tale of intrigue, deception and romance. Bravo to the author for remaining true to a plot without compromising language and sacrificing the integrity of the characters!