The Devil in the Marshalsea

The Devil in the Marshalsea

Book - 2014
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It's 1727. Tom Hawkins is damned if he's going to follow in his father's footsteps and become a country parson. Not for him a quiet life of prayer and propriety. His preference is for wine, women, and cards. But there's a sense of honor there too, and Tom won't pull family strings to get himself out of debt, not even when faced with the appalling horrors of London's notorious debtors' prison: The Marshalsea Gaol. Within moments of his arrival in the Marshalsea, Hawkins learns there's a murderer on the loose, a ghost is haunting the gaol, and that he'll have to scrounge up the money to pay for his food, bed, and drink. He's quick to accept an offer of free room and board from the mysterious Samuel Fleet, only to find out just hours later that it was Fleet's last roommate who turned up dead. Tom's choice is clear: get to the truth of the murder or be the next to die.
Publisher: Boston : Mariner Books, 2014
ISBN: 9780544176676
0544176677
Characteristics: xiv, 384 p. ; 21 cm

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SFPL_danielay Apr 14, 2015

A historical mystery set in a London debtors' prison in 1727 - an institution where the penniless are left to die of hunger and disease. The setting itself makes this a chilling read.

r
Roundcat
Sep 19, 2014

There is a series of children's books the titles of which start with "You Wouldn't Want To...". This book would be a good candidate for an adult "You Wouldn't Want To Go To Debtors Prison" book. The unimaginable horrors that await Tom Hawkins when he is sent to Marshalsea Prison for being unfortunate enough to be in default on his debts may be the death of him. He fights them off with his ability to read peoples' expressions, physical strength, and a little help from his roommate, who is suspected of having killed his previous roommate. Marshalsea Prison is a world of its own, based on the hopes of the prisoners and the greed of its commanders and lawyers. Getting out will depend on his being able to find the killer of the last man to be a tenant in his shared room. Everyone he trusts betrays him, nothing is what it seems, and everyone is as desperate as he to get out, no matter what it costs or who they hurt.

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