Black Drop - Laurence Jago (Paperback)Leonora Nattrass (author)
Redolent of the febrile revolutionary atmosphere of late eighteenth-century London, Nattrass' masterly debut crime thriller revolves around an opium-addicted clerk and a letter which could destroy the British army were it uncovered.
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?
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 320 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 28 mm
'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
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“Clever and twisty”
Laurence Jago hides a secret from his employers. As a government clerk in a time where England and France are becoming enemies, Jago does not want it known that he is half-French and fluent in the language. However... More
“Atmospheric and very enjoyable!”
It’s the year 1794, and right from the start, we know that Laurence Jago (clerk to the Foreign Office) has secrets - the kind of secrets that, (should he be found out), would result in his head being placed on a spike... More
“great historical spy thriller”
I received a free review copy from Serpent’s Tail/Viper/Profile in exchange for my honest, unedited feedback.
In 1794, Laurence Jago is an ambitious clerk at the Foreign Office but has a secret- well a few secrets-... More
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