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The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins (2015)

by Antonia Hodgson

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Excellent story. Very interesting characters and the story really gave me the feel of what life might have been like in the 1700's in England. Yes on the book, "no thanks" on living in the 1700's. ( )
  tinkermn | Sep 17, 2016 |
Following the events portrayed in The Devil in the Marshalsea, Tom Hawkins and his love Kitty have settled down in Russell Street, running a print shop for lewd material. But all this domesticity doesn't agree with Tom, and he longs for more excitement. He should be familiar with the old saying 'Be careful what you wish for' as very soon he's obliged to work for Queen Caroline and is also accused of murdering his neighbour in a frenzied attack. Is there any hope he'll be able to keep his head out of the noose?

This is a very well-done piece of historical crime fiction with lots of authentic detail. Based partially on historic fact, Antonia Hodgson weaves a compelling tale of domestic violence, court intrigue and murder, and through a clever stylistic device it is not entirely clear whether Thomas Hawkins will live to tell his tale. She offers up several credible alternatives as to who committed the murder, cleverly disguising the clues until all is revealed near the very end of the book. Yet still I'm finding it somehow difficult to warm to the central character, while it's a lot easier to like the tempestuous Kitty and even Sam, whom Tom and Kitty have taken in and are trying to educate to turn him away from a life of crime.

The ending hints at a third volume in the series, which is already in the pipeline, I believe. ( )
  passion4reading | Jul 6, 2016 |
This book was an impulse grab from my library, felt like something I might be in the mood to read. Saw this was the second in series, hadn't read the first but I ended up really enjoying this story. We first see Thomas on a prison cart on his way to Tyburn Hill to be hanged. Convicted of murdering his neighbor, a bully of a man, he adamantly proclaims his innocence.

The atmosphere, so true to this time period, rogues, thieves and prostitutes abound, Fleet Street, St. Giles, Seven Dials. A woman gladiator of sorts, so many varied characters but it is Thomas, his woman Kitty, who is a force onto herself, and a young boy Sam who are our main and very interesting characters. Thomas also manages to get himself involved with Queen Caroline, given a mission by her and also the kings mistress, who has little or no power but does have a despicable husband. Rousing good fun, non stop action, characters you can't help but root for and a good mystery to boot. Defoe is mentioned and indeed I can see a comparison to his Moll Flanders, but amazingly this author is a woman. Her lengthy afterward provides the reader with the knowledge that much of this book, follows fact. Not the mystery of course but the tone, the street, the historical details and such.

A stunning impulse grab. ( )
  Beamis12 | Apr 26, 2016 |
THE LAST CONFESSION OF THOMAS HAWKINS by Antonia Hodgson
After a thrilling start The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins takes a while before the reader truly cares about Tom, his “trull” Kitty and the other characters in the novel. But, once apprehension for Tom’s life and liberty sets in, the thrill ride begins and doesn’t stop. Hodgson’s characters are engaging and fully formed. The setting and history (London, in the early 1700’s) is well researched and clearly told. The mystery is exciting with many red herrings and plot twists. The picture presented of Queen Caroline is delightful -- and convincingly nefarious.
Readers of both historical fiction and mysteries will be captivated with this book. Although this is a second outing for Tom Hawkins and several other characters from The Devil in the Marshalsea are present, the necessary information from the first is presented logically and without undue repetition.
5 of 5 stars ( )
  beckyhaase | Jan 17, 2016 |
Entertaining, good characters, locked room mystery (sort of), gruesome 18th century nastiness. Hawkins is on his way to be hanged and tells the story of how it happened. All the time he thinks the queen will pardon him. Reviewed for Booklist. ( )
  jenzbaker | Oct 25, 2015 |
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Thomas Hawkins is
accused of murdering his
neighbour. Will he hang?
(passion4reading)

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