Wednesday 3 June 2015

Review: The Last confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

Title: The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins
Author: Antonia Hodgson
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: June 4th 2015

Synopsis: Spring, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is dragged through the streets of London to the gallows at Tyburn. The crowds jeer and curse as he passes, calling him a murderer. He tries to remain calm. His name is Tom Hawkins and he is innocent. Somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.

It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy with Kitty Sparks. Life was good. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was 'bored and looking for adventure'. He should never have offered to help Henrietta Howard, the king's mistress, in her desperate struggles with a brutal husband. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man.

Review: I do love a good history book, and it seems I've been on a bit of history binge recently, and I've loved it. What's also interesting is that I always thought I didn't necessarily like this period of history, the Tudors and everything before was my thing, but this was great. I forgot how debauched this period of England was and I loved that! Not sure what that says about me, but it makes for an interesting read.

Although this is a sequel, in many ways it can be read alone, and indeed I haven't read the first, its in my room and now I want to! So coming into this everything was new, the characters, the style of writing, the London and it was all done very well! I got the vibes of it well, I got the history and it has a range of characters that you loved, and loved to hate. Thomas was a great narrator, he wast perfect and his flaws made him human, because there was a great human nature about him, he lived his vicarious life, but he had morals. Kitty waw full of fire, just the kind of woman you want in a book, and then Charles Howard the kind of Man you want to punch!

The use of different narrative forms also added a great feel to the historical nature of the text and this really added to my enjoyment, from the actual story to the bollards and new story.  I also loved how there was a passage at the beginning of each part of the book, set in the future that had a really gritty tone that set a mood and guided you but didn't. Then a crime to top it off!

It's great to see how crime was investigated back when before all the things we take for granted like forensics and procedures and whatnot. Conjecture...assumption and a man's good name that's how crime was solved or not! I loved how this show's a different society yet there are the same similar traits that's carried through the years and we can still see. The story also had elements of truth intertwined and finding this out was great because it added that real dimension, that these people were real and they lived and walked, and now once again they're given life.

If you're looking for a new historical voice check this book out!!


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