➸ Blood & Sugar Free ➮ Author Laura Shepherd-Robinson – Paperless-kitchen.info

➸ Blood & Sugar Free ➮ Author Laura Shepherd-Robinson – Paperless-kitchen.info This is one of those books that I doubt I could do justice to in a review without doubt one of the very best books I ve read this year and it ll most certainly be one to watch in 2019 A great action packed story blimey, this book is hard to put down , a fascinating array of characters including a complex, driven main character who I felt a deep attachment to , wonderfully written but also a stark, honest, devastating depiction of slavery in Britain focusing on the dockyard of Deptford in the later part of the 18th century Do not miss this Review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights. Blood Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd Robinson, and boy is this a cracking debut It highlights, as a fictional story, the horrifying ubiquity of slave ownership and trade in eighteenth century Britain, and the exploration of this topic within the context of the story is what pushed this from a four star cracker to a five star must read This subtly nuanced and intricately plotted tale keeps you very much on your toes but is profound than a lot of historical crime fiction I have gorged on previously and that was most welcome and refreshing This is raw, powerful, heart on your sleeve drama with a great wadge of suspense and is thought provoking and profound in parts too.Everything just gelled together superbly, and I can t wait to read of this young and talented writers work when it s released There is something here for everyone conspiracy, injustice, poverty, identity, racism, criminality, love, and loss by all means, it s quite didactic I can say with a high level of certainty, a rarity this early on in the reading year, that this will definitely feature in my best fiction of 2019 Yes, indeed it is that astonishing Beautifully written with some of the finest descriptions I ve come across in years Ms Shepherd Robinson is one to watch Her prose really is vivid I could smell the scents, hear the sounds and see the sights throughout the entirety of the story and brings a transformational richness which never ran out of steam When I properly consider it, the atmosphere created by the author beggars belief for a first novel it s intense, suspenseful and darkly claustrophobic Thoroughly recommended.Many thanks to Mantle for an ARC. June, An Unidentified Body Hangs Upon A Hook At Deptford Dock Horribly Tortured And Branded With A Slaver S MarkSome Days Later, Captain Harry Corsham A War Hero Embarking Upon A Promising Parliamentary Career Is Visited By The Sister Of An Old Friend Her Brother, Passionate Abolitionist Tad Archer, Had Been About To Expose A Secret That He Believed Could Cause Irreparable Damage To The British Slaving Industry He D Said People Were Trying To Kill Him, And Now He Is MissingTo Discover What Happened To Tad, Harry Is Forced To Pick Up The Threads Of His Friend S Investigation, Delving Into The Heart Of The Conspiracy Tad Had Unearthed His Investigation Will Threaten His Political Prospects, His Family S Happiness, And Force A Reckoning With His Past, Risking The Revelation Of Secrets That Have The Power To Destroy HimAnd That Is Only If He Can Survive The Mortal Dangers Awaiting Him In Deptford what a debut I really loved this I often bemoan the fact in period fiction, specifically when set in London or in port towns that the stories are so white This one is not Such a rich picture of London and especially Deptford in the 18th century when it had been an important port for overseas trade including that of human beings An abolitionist is found murdered and his estranged best friend starts to ask questions I loved how the author made the main character constantly having to chose between what is easy and what is right If you like historical mysteries then this is top drawer. The extensive dramatis personae at the start of the book alerts readers to the fact there will be a large cast of characters with some colourful names and that they will need to keep their wits about them Can I add that I always love a book with a map at the front Harry s investigation puts him and, it transpires, those close to him in danger because he s up against individuals who don t like people asking questions and who have no scruples about preventing them asking Harry soon finds there are things people are simply too scared to talk about for fear of retribution and it becomes increasingly evident there are vested interests whose reach extends into the highest places of society and government What he discovers will eventually force Harry to make some difficult moral choices It was one of those moments on which a man s future turns On one side certain ruin On the other a woman s life, a dead man s memory, and a gentleman s ability to live with himself The first person narration allows the reader inside the mind of Harry, complete with his traumatic war memories, guilt at past actions and sadness at the state of his marriage to wife, Caroline, who nowadays seems to find society parties attractive than his company Even their young son seems incapable of bringing them together Harry and Caroline do form a useful alliance towards the end of the book that temporarily seems to offer some hope for their future We were like two allied generals advancing towards a common enemy, with only ancient treaties to define us Personally, I would have liked of Caroline as her brief appearance suggests an astute and intelligent mind behind the glamorous exterior.The author does a great job of conjuring up the atmosphere of 18th century London the sights, sounds and smells and of the neighbourhoods that surround it Anyone familiar with the urban sprawl of today s London may find it hard to imagine a time when Deptford a drunken doxy, ungainly sprawled on the banks of the Thames was considered out of the city and it took two hours to travel the five miles from there by carriage to Bethnal Green.The evil and inhumanity of the slave trade is the ever present backdrop to the book and the long term consequences for those who were abused and, in some cases, for the abusers themselves although they of course deserve it As one character remarks, But slaving men are a breed apart It s the trade that does it to them Deadens the goodness in the soul Blood Sugar is a compelling historical crime mystery, replete with period atmosphere and featuring an elaborate plot, full of twists and turns, that will keep readers guessing until the final pages It s an impressive debut.I received a review copy courtesy of publishers, Mantle, and NetGalley. So I read this SUPER early and have been sitting on my hands waiting to talk about it not being the BIGGEST fan of historical fiction I wondered how I d find it turns out that in my opinion Blood and Sugar is one of the best books I ve read in the last decade.Impeccably researched and beautifully written, this novel is so incredibly descriptive that it places you firmly in its setting to the point you can practically live it The story itself is utterly gripping, dark and twisty but always authentic, mixing fiction with reality, a literary delight to read from start to finish.The characters pop, a diverse and fascinating set of people living in a time of change, Laura Shepherd Robinson weaves together a tangled web of relationships and events that never once falters It is a beautiful thing to behold.Criminally good and difficult to do justice to in a review, Blood and Sugar should be on all book lovers lists this year get yourself back to 1700 s Deptford, you won t regret it A huge talent has just arrived on the scene fellow book worms, everyone else is going to have to up their game.Highly Recommended. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Intricate, well researched story about the slave trade, corruption and murder.I do enjoy a good who dunnit style book, and the unusual backdrop of the UK s slave trade definitely appealed It s good to write about the atrocities committed, rather than seek to brush them under the carpet of historyFor the most part, I was engrossed though the ending caused me some issues More on that later.Captain Harry Corsham is a man on the rise, until he learns that his old childhood chum, Tad, has been murdered in Deptford Upon inspection of the body, it becomes obvious that this was no ordinary killing Tad s body bears the mark of a slave owner and shows signs of torture Harry suspects that Tad s abolitionist activities may have angered the wrong people, and he s hellbent on discovering who murdered his friendeven when his own life is as stake.So, let s start with the things I enjoyed The author s depiction of Deptford is rich, involved and 100% convincing I could literally smell the foul, corrupt streets and envisage the buildings there It s evident that the author really has done her research and it paid off big time This also lends itself to the overall feel of the book which was claustrophobic, unsettling and unpredictable The characters were likewise intriguing, with some standing out than others Beguiling Cinnamon, who was aboard the doomed ship The Dark Angel, is notable, as is Caesar John They all came together to form a cast of ne er do wells and shady types that again, added to that super creepy, tense ambiance As mentioned before, the one element I wasn t keen on was the end view spoiler To be honest, making a black man the murderer I felt was a little insensitive And as for throttling him with a chain I mean, that s not the most tactful symbolism, in the grand scheme of things What I wanted to see was full scale condemnation of the REAL criminals here, which are 100% white people By all means, show that slavery can drive a man mad, but I feel, when writing about a subject like this, there is a responsibility to ensure there is no doubt about who the villains were But this is just my opinion and I do not want to make the author feel bad, because by writing about this subject, she must know she s leaving herself open to scrutinywhich is a brave thing to do and should be done often hide spoiler Thank you to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan Mantle for the free copyWar hero captain Harry Corsham is flung into the role of detective when his estranged friend goes missing and leaves a mysterious message with his sister His quest leads him to Deptford, the slave trade home town on the Thames that has it s own rulers and laws Slave trade, abolition, trade, insurance, sex, voodoo, opium, nothing is what it seems, stories and motives change, friends are foes and foes are friends very atmospheric, one can smell the water and hear the ropes and sails on the ships. Laura Shepherd Robinson s debut is an impressively researched piece of 18th century historical fiction that proves to be an atmospheric, viscerally gut wrenching depiction of the realities and horrors of the slave trade within Britain, London and the wider British Empire This is not for the faint hearted as its brutal portrayal spares the reader none of the heinous details of the era, providing an indelible and heartbreaking stain of unforgettable shame on British history It took me a little while to get into this novel, but once I did, I was fiercely glued, turning the pages ever faster, until I had finished It is London 1781, Captain Harry Corsham has returned a hero from war in the US, suffering PTSD His marriage to Caro, from a powerful and wealthy banking family, is experiencing difficulties, and he has a young son, Gabriel, whom he adores He is on the cusp of becoming an elected parliamentarian, buttressed by establishment support, especially his employer He receives a visit from Amelia, the sister of lawyer Thaddeus Tad Archer, a friend from his Oxford days who meant everything to him until their friendship splintered apart for some reason Amelia, who ran off with a married man, is a pariah, shunned by London society.Amelia is a distraught and worried woman, Tad, a totally committed abolitionist, is missing in Deptford, a slaving port, having informed his sister that he was about to expose a secret that would bring down the slave trade, but he was being followed, threatened, and in danger of being killed A powerful establishment group, including those in government, slave traders and the West India Company are determined to ensure the profitable slave trade continues unabated, willing to do whatever it takes to squash any meaningful opposition In the midst of the river s miasmic Devil s Breath at Deptford dock, a man s body hangs on a hook, gruesomely tortured as slaves are, branded with a slaver s mark Harry goes in search of his friend in the mean streets of Deptford, guilt ridden, walking in Tad s footsteps to find out what happened to him His efforts to investigate are not welcomed, and before long he too finds himself in the same dangers that befell his dear friend Despite all the obstacles, he is driven by an inner need to atone, not even the prospect of losing everything that matters, including his glittering future, nothing can stop him, not even the fear of his own death.The author captures the murky poverty stricken streets of London, the cruel horrors of its underbelly of crime, abuse and the dehumanising business of slavetrading, and those at the sharp end of it The massacre that took place in 1778 on the appropriately named ship, The Dark Angel, is fictitious, but this nightmarish practice really did occur at this time on slave transport ships heading towards the sugar plantations across the Atlantic So many of the characters that Harry meets in Deptford or London turn out to be not what they seem, with an unholy tangle of twisted intrigue, politics, and slavetraders, the narrative slowly reveals deception, massacre, conspiracy to defraud, murders, entrenched racism, greed, and the mental health issues that plagued those that had been enslaved Harry s characterisation had depth and is complex, the true nature of his love for and relationship with Tad is poignant and emotionally affecting, whilst societies harsh attitudes to such relationships is a reflection of the historical period The British slave trade continued until 1807, although this made little inroads into slavery and it was only outlawed in the British Empire in 1833 I found this atmospheric novel an enthralling read, outlining what abolitionists faced when it came to instigating change and shifting perceptions of the people This is a fantastic debut Many thanks to PanMacmillan for an ARC. Good solid historical read, starting in the eighteen s century, June 1781, describing the dark and brutal practices of the slave trade A first for me, this theme, in the historical genre The story features Captain Harry Corsham, a war hero investigating the disappearance and death of his former friend and abolitionist Tad Archer, getting involved in a very dark and political plot Came across this book in Edinburgh Waterstones Yes, definitely an interesting and worthwhile read, good writing, intriguing and harsh story.June, 1781, an identified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock horribly tortured and branded with a slaver s mark Captain Harry Corsham, a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career, is visited by the sister of an old friend Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed

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