Saturday 9 May 2020

Guest Review: These Lost & Broken Things By Helen Fields

How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?
The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…
Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.
Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.

Review: From the writer of the Detective Inspector Luc Callanach crime series, this is an historical thriller set at turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Having read and enjoyed several of the stories in the DI Callanach series, I was keen to read this latest book by the author.

The story concerns Sofia, born into a Romani family that is part of a travelling fair. The narrative switches from the circumstances of her childhood at the end of the 19th century, to her struggles as an adult bringing up her two children in the early part of the 20th century. Over the course of the book, Sofia is forced to make some difficult decisions in order to survive. The story is set mainly in London and, like the author's other works, comes with a warning that there are some scenes of quite graphic violence. 

Unlike the DI Callanach series, there is little or no humour in this book and, as a consequence, I found it quite dark and depressing. It deals with a number of important issues, including addiction and women's rights. On the plus side, it is a story that features strong women and is set against the background of women's struggle for the right to vote. As a thriller that evokes a strong feeling for the period, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in Edwardian society.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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