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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
    Mar 2017, 400 pages

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Back in Time
This is an intriguing time passage back to Dickensian England. Characters are fully developed, and the reader finds himself/herself walking the streets of London looking right and left for the cut-purse light-footed criminal as well as quick stepping out of the way of the sparking wheels of a royal coach. Tension exists from the opening scenes as our hero, Thomas Hawkins, is being transported to the gallows. The reader needs to read the unfolding of the story to determine if Hawkins is really a murderer or a hero. Engaging and developed with twists and turns, the story draws the reader into a mystery which requires the reader to make judgments between good and evil, saints and sinners.
Donna T. (Orlando, FL)

Wow! This second book by Antonia Hodgson is just as good as her first. I came to respect all these characters in all their faults. Her character development is deep and complex. This era was very different than any of our experiences. She provided me with a vivid picture of the every day life, culture and moral code of those times. So well researched. The plot twists just kept coming and I eagerly read each page. And then the surprise ending! She is an author I intend to follow.
Linda Hitchcock

Fans of Ellis Peters Rejoice
"The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins" is a mesmerizing, noteworthy historical mystery. I was immediately in its thrall caught by the fine writing, rich and vivid depictions of place and time evidencing thorough research as well as the compelling story. My reaction was to slow down and ration the pages read to relish the experience. The novel is set in 1728 in a crowded, unsavory slum in Georgian-era London. 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. The detailed descriptions are further enhanced by the inclusion of several villainous non-fictional personages as supporting characters.

Protagonist Hawkins is a wayward gentleman, a scholarly parson’s son turned smut peddler who resides in unwedded harmony with his ladylove, the clever and loyal Kitty Sparks. He narrates the tale en route to the gallows, sentenced to be hung for murder and hoping for a last minute royal pardon from scheming Queen Charlotte. The tension is high, outcome uncertain and the reader will remain in suspense and become an instant fan of Antonia Hodgson’s work. It certainly prompted me to order her debut novel "The Devil in the Marshalsea".
Samantha H. (Golden, CO)

Thomas Hawkins --Loved it
This is an excellent follow-up to Antonia Hodgson's first novel Devil in the Marshalsea. The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins is well written, and transports the reader to London in the early 1700's. It has an interesting cast of characters. Tom has a penchant for running into trouble, and this tale of his exploits is wonderfully entertaining and absorbing. What a great read.
Kathleen B. (Las Vegas, NV)

Thomas Hawkins at it again!
As soon as I received this book from Book Browse (Thank You very much) I got the first book The Devil in the Marshalsea. I enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed this one. As I was reading this novel I was worried there could be no sequel but was delighted when Yorkshire came into being. I hope this turns into a whole series. I don't think I have read a historical novel in Georgian London before. This gave me a true idea of what it was like with the porn (Thomas was writing) the fetish brothels (YUK!) and the ridiculous pomp and circumstances surrounding an execution, The novel showed how Thomas was a charming rake "gentleman" always looking for excitement that led to trouble. He had a sense of nobility about him though when he wouldn't foist the blame of the murder on innocent people. This novel had a plot full of thrilling twists and turns. A satisfying whodunit. I absolutely loved The History Behind The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins. Anybody who likes/loves historical novels/mysteries will love this.
Power Reviewer
Becky H. (Chicago, IL)

The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson
After a thrilling start, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins takes a while before the reader truly cares about Tom, his "trull" Kitty and the other characters in the novel. But, once apprehension for Tom's life and liberty sets in, the thrill ride begins and doesn't stop. Hodgson's characters are engaging and fully formed. The setting and history (London, in the early 1700s) is well researched and clearly told. The mystery is exciting with many red herrings and plot twists. The picture presented of Queen Caroline is delightful -- and convincingly nefarious.

Readers of both historical fiction and mysteries will be captivated with this book. Although this is a second outing for Tom Hawkins, and several other characters from The Devil in the Marshalsea are present, the necessary information from the first is presented logically and without undue repetition.
Barbara P. (Sierra Madre, CA)

A interest study of position, power and influence
From the prologue to the last page, this book takes us on an enjoyable yet thought provoking ride through a not so very distant England. We have the opportunity to explores the nobles, the royals and the not so honorable that keep the system working. I enjoyed the characters developing as the story unfolded - this added to the twists and surprises we found along the way. If you enjoy historic fiction, particularly within 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.
Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)

Good Historical Mystery
I very much liked this historical mystery. I had read The Devil in the Marshalsea and was anxious to read more adventures of Thomas Hawkins. The book was carefully researched and offers a realistic view of many aspects of life in the days of King George and Queen Caroline. I especially liked "The History Behind" section at the end that explains some of the historical significance.The mystery starts slowly to evolve and had some twists at the end that kept me guessing.I hope Antonia Hodgson continues to write more novels! This book would be good for people who like English history, historical mystery lovers, and might be a good choice for a book club with these interests.

Beyond the Book:
  Queen Caroline

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