#TotheDark by @ChrisNickson2

Winter is about to take a chilling twist…

Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.

A coded notebook found in Laurence’s room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who’s now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon’s hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who’ll happily kill him in a heartbeat – if they can.

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She sensed him there, behind her in the fog.

LEEDS, NOVEMBER 1822

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(@severnhouse, 31 December 2020, 224 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 20 January 2021 via @RandomTTours)

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This is my first time reading the author. I had a great time reading To the Dark so it won’t be my last. There are other books featuring Simon Westow for me to catch up on and another two series’ for me to read. I’ve read a lot of historical fiction this year, far more than in previous years. To the Dark is among the best I’ve read. The book tackles some grisly subject matter including murder, betrayal and corruption, making it a gripping and compelling read. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is the relationship between Simon and Jane, they work well together and I enjoyed the comradeship, friendship and the clashes between them. Simon is in danger when he uncovers a corruption at the core of the city, something certain people with go to extreme lengths to bury forever. Jane also realises she’s not infallible or as tough as she looks when she’s betrayed by Martha, a young street urchin she takes under her wing. I enjoyed the way things play out. I’d highly recommend this.

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