Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review of Lawless and The Devil of Euston Square by William Sutton

Description (From NetGalley)

Cover links to amazon
Murder. Vice. Pollution. Delays on the Tube. Some things never change…

London 1859-62. A time of great exhibitions, foreign conquests and underground trains. But the era of Victorian marvels is also the time of the Great Stink. With cholera and depravity never far from the headlines, it’s not only the sewers that smell bad.
Novice detective, Campbell Lawless, stumbles onto the trail of Berwick Skelton, an elusive revolutionary, seemingly determined to bring London to its knees through a series of devilish acts of terrorism.

But cast into a lethal, intoxicating world of music hall hoofers, industrial sabotage and royal scandal, will Lawless survive long enough to capture this underworld nemesis, before he unleashes his final vengeance on a society he wants wiped from the face of the Earth?

Lawless & The Devil of Euston Square
 is the first of a series of historical thrillers by William Sutton set during the mid-nineteenth century, featuring Metropolitan policeman, Campbell Lawless, aka the Watchman, on his rise through the ranks and his initiation as a spy.

Before Holmes, there was Lawless…

Before Campbell Lawless, the London streets weren’t safe to walk…

My Review

The masterful writing of this book really does put you right there in the heart of Victorian London, you can see (and almost smell) every detail.

The main character, Campbell Lawless, begins as quite a naive young detective and I loved seeing the way his character grew through the course of the book, his investigations knocking the naiveté out of him bit by bit.

There are so many great characters in this book, from all walks of life, and I have a feeling they will stay with me for a long time. My favourites by far were Worm and The Professor, a couple of street kids that Lawless uses as runners, I think they will always have a place in my heart.

My only criticism of this book is that on occasion I did get a little confused, there were so many secondary characters to keep track of that I sometimes got them mixed up. and that is the only reason I am not giving this book 5 stars.

There are at least two more Campbell Lawless books in the pipeline and I can't wait to read them. If you like historical crime novels, then you need to read this book. 

I give Lawless and The Devil of Euston Square 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating System:
1 star: I will never post a 1 star review because this means it was so bad I couldn't finish it, and I don't won't publicly rate a book I haven't read all the way through.
2 stars: I may have liked the story but it was badly written or it may have been a boring story well written. Something about it kept me reading but I didn't enjoy it.
3 stars: A good, enjoyable read. If the description appeals to you I'd recommend reading it.
4 stars: A really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and may even read again. I will want to read other books by the same author. Highly recommend.
5 stars: Reserved for books that blew me away and whose characters I can't get out of my head. These are books that I will definitely read again, possibly several times. If I read an e-book version I may even have to go buy a hard copy for my shelves. Why are you still here? Go read this book right now.

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