Circles of Deceit
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.
I have to admit, although the description for this book caught my interest instantly, I did feel somewhat apprehensive knowing it was the second book in a series, only as I worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the plot. I discovered quickly that I needn’t have worried as this story can just as easily be read as a standalone.
I found the character Josiah Ainscough co incredibly likeable, and after the first couple of pages I already felt a connection with him and what he stands for. He is brave, yet incredibly modest and this makes him all the more endearing. Josiah certainly has to face up to the consequences of his morals, as he has difficult decisions to make along the way in order to keep the people who he cares about safe.
All of the characters that we meet within this book all play their own roles in how the story itself progresses. Their own individual stories and circumstances are all intertwined, and really highlights the various struggles that people of varying class had to face, and the ways in which this impacted their lives as the story unfolds.
The story is perfectly paced and kept me fascinated from start to finish. As the uncertainty of the times and the anger people feel comes to its climax, violence soon takes hold. This is when Josiah faces his biggest struggle yet as he fights to keep the two separate sides of his life apart.
The Author does an incredible job of bringing the story itself and the characters within it to life for the reader. He details the unthinkable conditions of the mill workers, along with the turbulent tides of politics. The historical side pf this story was highlighted beautifully and truly gave me an insight into how it must have been living throughout those times.
A fascinating, detailed story that grasped my attention from start to end.
Author Bio –
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.
Social Media Links – Twitter @cw_beatty
I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources and Paul CW Beatty for allowing me to be a part of this book tour, and for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.