The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins – Antonia Hodgson (Tom Hawkins Book 2)

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Published on 14th July 2015 by Hodder Paperbacks and available here

London, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is driven through streets of jeering onlookers to the gallows at Tyburn. They call him a murderer. But Tom Hawkins is innocent and somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.

It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy settling down with Kitty Sparks. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was bored and looking for adventure. He should never have offered to help, the king’s mistress. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if London, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is driven through streets of jeering onlookers to the gallows at Tyburn. They call him a murderer. But Tom Hawkins is innocent and somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.

It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy settling down with Kitty Sparks. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was bored and looking for adventure. He should never have offered to help, the king’s mistress. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man…

Previous book in the series: The Devil in the Marshalsea – Antonia Hodgson (Tom Hawkins Book 1)

My thoughts

Hooray! I seriously think I want to travel in a TARDIS back to 1728 and meet Tom Hawkins. Obviously I don’t want the insanitary conditions, poor hygiene and smells. But I’m in love with the period. Give me the gin shops and the taverns NOW!

Hawkins was last seen in a debtor’s prison hunting for a killer. In ‘The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins’, he is back. This time, it is a historical locked door mystery. Hawkins now lives in sin with Kitty, who has inherited a fortune. As this is before the Married Womens’ Property Act of 1882, Kitty has to stay single to keep control of her money. If she marries Hawkins, her money goes to him. Kitty is the owner of a lewd bookshop selling eighteenth century porn, think Fifty Shades of Grey style writings. The man next door, Joseph Burden, comes to blows with Hawkins publicly and ends up being found murdered. Who killed Burden? Hawkins finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit and in a race against time to find the guilty party. Tom also finds himself chatting to the Queen, as you do. Life is certainly fun for our hero!

Loved it! It was fun to be back in the crazy world of Tom and Kitty. This felt very different to the first story, set in the debtor’s prison. Tom gets himself in just as much trouble, this time. There is a lovely sense of the time and place, through the colourful descriptions. We see how life is lived in the 1720s, in the city. I found myself looking up various things on the internet, from the gin epidemic to contraception. I couldn’t help myself! I cannot imagine how cheap gin must have been back then, for people to spend all of their money getting drunk on it. I’m not saying what the condoms were made of! Urrghhh!

What an adventure! If you are interested in social history and want a good old fashioned crime story, with a lovable rogue in Tom, check out Antonia Hodgson! I look forward to Tom’s next story in Yorkshire, ‘A Death At Fountains Abbey’.

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About Christine

Welcome to my blog. #crime #thrillers #books Twitter @northernlass73
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4 Responses to The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins – Antonia Hodgson (Tom Hawkins Book 2)

  1. Great review! I’m definitely trying these!☺️

  2. crimeworm says:

    I’ve got all three of these – you’ve convinced me I must get to them asap! Read in order? Oh, I must, as it’s you Christine! (See the condom thing? Is it something to do with sheep’s intestines? Actually, a boy in my school allegedly tried using a crisp packet…!) And don’t worry – we’ll have ourselves some gin at Bloody Scotland next year!

    • Christine says:

      Oh brilliant. They are just great stories and some of it is based on fact, like the debtor’s prison in book one. Yes in 1727, it was sheep intestines *vomits* … That boy hahaha!!! Very Inbetweeners! They had gin shops in those days. Can you imagine? People got so drunk, they slept it off in the gin shop. It must have been so cheap. Mine’s a double with lemonade… *winks*

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