Murder, conspiracy, radicalism, poverty, riot, violence, capitalism, technology: everything is up for grabs in the early part of Victoria’s reign.
Radical politicians, constitutional activists and trade unionists are being professionally assassinated. When Josiah Ainscough of the Stockport Police thwarts an attempt on the life of the Chartist leader, Feargus O’Connor, he receives public praise, but earns the enmity of the assassin, who vows to kill him.
‘Circles of Deceit’, the second of Paul CW Beatty’s Constable Josiah Ainscough’s historical murder mysteries, gives a superb and electric picture of what it was to live in 1840s England.
The novel is set in one of the most turbulent political periods in British history, 1842-1843, when liberties and constitutional change were at the top of the political agenda, pursued using methods fair or foul.
Circles of Deceit by Paul CW Beatty is a historical crime fiction set in Victorian England. I feel like this author nailed the time period. I felt transported into this novel between the setting descriptions and the characters. Historical fiction is always impressive to me because of the amount of research and authenticity that goes in.
The ending fell a little for me because it was a little loose. However, given this is a series, I can see development further on. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel though.
I enjoyed the characters. They felt authentic in this setting. The murder mystery is very well done. I enjoyed following the characters.
Overall, this was a great read. If you’re a fan of historical crime fiction, check this out.
*I received a free copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.
His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd.
Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.
Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to interact with you. If this sounds like something you would read, let me know!