BookBrowse Reviews The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

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The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins

by Antonia Hodgson

The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson X
The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2016, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2017, 400 pages

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Antonia Hodgson returns to Georgian-era London with a new mystery sure to win new fans and delight her old.

A historical mystery teeming with atmosphere and well-drawn characters was just what the doctor ordered for a hefty majority of BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers.

Antonia Hodgson creates memorable and believable characters, good, bad, and a little bit of both, in this mystery. She provides not only a vivid and compelling plot, but also immerses the reader in the sights, sounds, and smells of Georgian London, from the poorest to the richest sections (Barbara E). Antonia Hodgson has written a really fine mystery about a young man accused of murder and heading to the gallows in the London of 1728 (Lesley F).

Good example of strong historical fiction
The author who writes historical fiction chooses an extra burden. Not only must she devise an entertaining and intricate plot, and appealing characters, but also create a detailed and historically authentic world in which they live and die. Antonia Hodgson, the author of The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins brings early 18th century London to life in a very gritty way. We experience the luxurious apartments of King George, his queen and mistress; the filthy, gang-ridden streets; to the rat-infested goals. We are right there with Thomas and his loyal girlfriend, Kitty. A thoroughly enjoyable adventure (Sande O). If you enjoy historical fiction, particularly against the backdrop of old England, this is an honest look at human nature, from its highest noble intents to its seediest nature — at times wrapped within the same fragile shell (Barbara P).

The novel features well-crafted characters in a vivid setting
Hodgson's characters are engaging and fully formed. The picture presented of Queen Caroline is delightful — and convincingly nefarious (Becky H). The author has created such a vivid atmosphere one can almost smell the heady mixture of pleasant smells of mulled spiced wine as well as the repugnant byproducts of urban squalor (Linda H).

Readers were hooked till the very end
When I received this book, I wasn't thrilled; novels where the story takes place hundreds of years ago are not my thing. Once I began reading this one, though, I was so wrapped up by the third chapter, I had to stay up nearly all night to finish it! The characters are so meaty, the action so intriguing, and the scenarios so realistic, I was completely swept away – until the last word was read (Annie P).

Although a sequel...
You don't need to have read The Devil in the Marshalsea — the first in the series — to enjoy and understand this book, but it does contain some spoilers if you read them out of order. All in all, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins is a wonderful historical fiction tale of secrets, lies, murder and sin set in London during the Georgian period (John W).

This review was originally published in March 2016, and has been updated for the March 2017 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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