My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - 6 days
Publisher - HarperCollins
Blurb From Goodreads
From the No. 1 bestselling author of THE AMERICAN BOY comes a brilliant new historical thriller set during the American War of Independence. Manhattan, 1778. A city of secrets, profiteers, loyalists and double agents. As the last part of America under British rule, New York is home to a swelling tide of refugees seeking justice from the British crown. Edward Savill is sent from London to investigate the claims of dispossessed loyalists. No sooner does he land than he becomes embroiled in the case of a gentleman murdered in the city's notorious Canvas Town. An escaped slave hangs for the crime, but Savill is convinced they have executed the wrong man. Lodging with the respected Wintour family, Savill senses the mystery deepening. Judge Wintour's beautiful daughter-in-law, Arabella, hides a tragedy in her past, while his son plans a dangerous mission into enemy territory. And what of Mr Noak, the enigmatic clerk seemingly bent on a dubious course of his own? One thing is clear - the killing in Canvas Town was just the start of a trail of murder, and it's leading directly to Savill...
The first thing I need to mention is the cover on this book. Not the actual visual aspect although it is a mix of smoldering effect colors, simplistic and nicely done with only a feather with blood as the main focal point. It is the paper it is print on, the feeling is rich and has a beautiful texture on both the paperback and the hardbak.
Edward Savill is our lead main character traveling over from London, England to new York by his superiors to investigate claims of English loyalists being evicted by Republican rebels from their land. After a hectic journey across the waters he has no sooner arrived than the gets caught up in the murder of a gentleman and things go from bad to worse.
It is set in the 1700s, and focuses on the murder of the gentleman which, when Savill starts to investigate finds there is a lot more to it than first was apparent. Because of the time period, slavery features throughout which makes for uncomfortable reading in parts but adds authenticity to tale. The story also centers around Savill's interactions with Arabella, the daughter of the judge he is residing with during his stay. Savill is away from his family in a new and hostile environment, Arabella is beautiful, aloof and intriguing, a powerful mix.
The story is very slow going, I felt, for large parts. There is a lot of small incidents and events throughout that keep your interest and the last quarter of the book is where it really kicks off. Once the plot had thickened and the pace cranked up I didn't want to put it down however for me it took an age to get there. The writing is very well done and some of the descriptive passages are wonderful, you can clearly visualize the scene. This is my first time reading this author and I would try them again although maybe a different time period. Thanks so much to HarperCollins for sending me an ARC copy. Available from all good retailers from the 28th of February 2013.