The Blurb (from Goodreads):
In a new Georgian–era mystery by Antonia Hodgson, the follow-up to The Devil in the Marshalsea, Tom Hawkins prays for a royal pardon as he relives the espionage, underground dealings, and murder accusations that sent him to the gallows.
London, 1728. Tom Hawkins is headed to the gallows, accused of murder. Gentlemen don’t hang and Tom’s damned if he’ll be the first. He may not be much of a gentleman, but he is innocent. He just always finds his way into a spot of bad luck.
It’s hard to say when Tom’s troubles began. He was happily living in sin with his beloved, Kitty Sparks — though their neighbors were certainly less pleased about that. He probably shouldn’t have told London’s most cunning criminal mastermind that he was “bored and looking for adventure.” Nor should he have offered to help the king’s mistress in her desperate struggles with a brutal and vindictive husband. And he definitely shouldn’t have trusted the calculating Queen Caroline. She’s promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue, but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man.
Now Tom must scramble to save his life and protect those he loves. But as the noose tightens, his time is running out
The Confession of Thomas Hawkins is the sequel to The Devil in the Marchelsea, which I read and loved last year. Thomas Hawkins is a brilliant creation – flawed and yet so likeable. The son of a parson, he spends his day drinking and gambling and falling into trouble, with the help of his sharp-tongued, strong-willed lover, Kitty Sparks, who refuses to marry him because women lose all power once the wedding ring is on their finger. Set in 1728, the book is rich in sensual historical detail and yet the pace is unflagging. Thomas is in a race against time to solve a gruesome murder and outwit a sadistic aristocrat before the hangman’s noose is put about his neck. A truly fabulous historical romp.