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BookBrowse Reviews The Hocus Girl by Chris Nickson

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The Hocus Girl

A Simon Westow mystery

by Chris Nickson

The Hocus Girl by Chris Nickson X
The Hocus Girl by Chris Nickson
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  • Published:
    Jan 2020, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Lyndal Martin
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Second in the Simon Westow series, The Hocus Girl is a historical mystery about thief-takers dealing with government corruption in 19th century England.

The second book in the Simon Westow Mystery series, The Hocus Girl is set in 1822 Leeds, in the north of England, at a time when several cultural revolutions have everyone on edge. With industrialization on the rise, the Luddite rebellion, made up of workers who feared machines would take their jobs, has recently been quelled. England has just passed the Six Acts (intended to prevent disturbances by gagging newspapers and criminalizing any meetings calling for radical reform), and government officials are cracking down on suspected "rebels"—even spying on small gatherings and plundering circulating literature for evidence. Distrust permeates the city, leaving citizens to solve their own problems using means of questionable ethics.

The main characters are morally ambiguous people of their time. Simon Westow, his wife Rosie and their comrade Jane all work as thief-takers, a ...

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