***A TIMES HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR***
‘A joy from start to finish’ – ANDREW TAYLOR
‘Thrilling… Deserves to be huge’ – EMMA STONEX
This is the confession of Laurence Jago. Clerk. Gentleman. Spy.
July 1794, and London is filled with rumours of revolution. The war against the French is not going in Britain’s favour, and negotiations with America are on a knife edge.
Laurence Jago, Foreign Office clerk, is ever more reliant on opium – the Black Drop – to ease his nightmares. A highly sensitive letter, whose contents could lead to the destruction of the British Army, has been leaked to the press and Laurence is a suspect. Then he discovers the body of a fellow clerk – a supposed suicide – and it seems clear where the blame truly lies.
But Laurence is certain both of his friend’s innocence, and that he was murdered. But after years of hiding his own secrets from his powerful employers, can Laurence find the true culprit without ending up on the gallows himself?
A fine debut that weaves the complex politics of 18th-century Britain into a gripping murder mystery * The Times * A joy from start to finish... giving a real sense of the intrigues behind closed doors. Jago is a very sympathetic hero -- Andrew Taylor, author of The Ashes of London Excellent... Filled with memorable characters, Black Drop offers first-class entertainment * Sunday Times * A thrilling slice of pitch-dark historical fiction, led by a superbly engaging narrator... Deserves to be huge -- Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters As nimbly realised as by the genre's master, Andrew Taylor * Financial Times * This opium-fuelled gem is a murderous romp through the tangled roots of British democracy -- Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal A strikingly assured and intelligent first novel about power, conspiracy and the lengths to which the influential will go to ensure their survival. Nattrass is confident enough in her knowledge of the period to avoid loading her narrative with explanations * Literary Review * Foreign Office clerk Laurence Jago has been accused of being a traitor, but when a colleague dies, blame shifts. Thrilling * Crime Monthly * A gripping, intricate story of Georgian high politics and low life. Leonora Nattrass's historical spy novel is top notch -- W.C. Ryan, author of A House of Ghosts A riveting political thriller, set at a fulcrum-point in global history. The setting is viscerally immersive and the characters spring to life from the page. This masterful narrative of deception, intrigue and heroism unfolds with compelling pace, wry humour and acute psychological observation. Gripping, moving and utterly engaging -- Philippa East, author of Little White Lies Nattrass writes so beautifully. Absolutely compelling, and so atmospheric I felt I was there, following Jago around the mean streets of eighteenth-century London -- Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man Lovers of historical thrillers have a treat in store. A splendid twisting tale of murder and espionage at the political heart of Georgian Britain -- Kate Griffin, author of Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders In Black Drop Leonora Nattrass has done that most dangerous thing: allowed fictional characters to mingle with real ones. I'm far too cowardly to do that in my writing, but she has pulled it off. Well written and well constructed, and Jago is a character readers will certainly want to follow -- Alix Nathan, author of The Warlow Experiment A sparkling evocation of a distant time which is remarkably similar to the current one. I loved it. The sights, smells and eccentricities of eighteenth-century Britain are so perfectly captured that if you'd told me this was one of Dickens' lost novels I'd have completely believed it. Other fictional worlds are going to seem a lot greyer in comparison -- Trevor Wood, author of The Man on the Street A wonderful, delicious treat of a book set in 1790s London. I was utterly transported to a world of political intrigue, spies and suspect deaths -- Louise Fein, author of People Like Us Leonora Nattrass brings Georgian London vividly to life in a delectable dose of secrets, lies and sinister skullduggery. Take care not to swallow this tincture of intrigue in a single sitting! -- D.V. Bishop, author of City of Vengeance A darkly atmospheric and utterly immersive tale. Black Drop is a thrilling, revolutionary ride through the coffee houses and committee rooms of a corrupt and fearful city. Grab your hat and pipe and keep your pistols at the ready! -- Miranda Malins, author of The Puritan Princess Superb. Nattrass convincingly recreates eighteenth-century London as a backdrop for spies, murders, and a skilful blend of historic and imagined characters. Vivid and fast-paced, it's an impressive achievement, and hugely enjoyable -- Guy Morpuss, author of Five Minds An astounding debut novel, written with style and confidence -- A.J. West, author of The Spirit Engineer Full of political intrigue and fascinating characters, this is a highly enjoyable read -- Neema Shah, author of Koloko Hill A dark and intriguing historical thriller. So immersive and fantastically written! -- Liv Matthews, author of The Prank A rip-roaringly good political thriller set in Georgian London -- Essie Fox, author of The Somnabulist
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