‘Black Drop’, Leonora Nattrass’s debut novel, was published by Viper Books on the 14th October 2021. It is available in hardcover and eBook and is due to be published in paperback on the 12th May 2022.
I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy which I received via NetGalley.
An atmospheric and brilliantly plotted historical thriller set in London during the uproar of the French Revolution
‘A fine debut [and] a gripping murder mystery’ – THE TIMES
‘As nimbly realised as by the genre’s master, Andrew Taylor’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
‘Black Drop is a joy from start to finish’ – ANDREW TAYLOR
This is the confession of Laurence Jago. Clerk. Gentleman. Reluctant spy.
July 1794, and the streets of London are filled with rumours of revolution. Political radical Thomas Hardy is to go on trial for treason, the war against the French is not going in Britain’s favour, and negotiations with the independent American colonies are on a knife edge.
Laurence Jago – clerk to the Foreign Office – is ever more reliant on the Black Drop to ease his nightmares. A highly sensitive letter has been leaked to the press, which may lead to the destruction of the British Army, and Laurence is a suspect. Then he discovers the body of a fellow clerk, supposedly a suicide.
Blame for the leak is shifted to the dead man, but even as the body is taken to the anatomists, Laurence is certain both of his friend’s innocence, and that he was murdered. But after years of hiding his own secrets from his powerful employers, and at a time when even the slightest hint of treason can lead to the gallows, how can Laurence find the true culprit without incriminating himself?
A thrilling historical mystery, perfect for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor, Antonia Hodgson and Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
It has been ages since I have read any historical fiction. However, this book really appealed to me.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Black Drop’ and I found it to be an absolutely fascinating read. It was very descriptive, so much so I could actually picture London and what it would have been like in those days. At times I felt like I was actually there amongst the crowd walking the streets of Charing Cross and beyond. I could literally feel the atmosphere in the Court during the trial and how tense things were. I wanted to know what the verdict was going to be but at the same time I didn’t want to know, if that makes any sense.
I loved the author’s writing style and cannot actually believe that this is her debut novel. Her passion just flies off the pages. It is this as well as the story itself that kept me reading on eagerly.
Laurence Jago was a great character and I found him to be really intriguing. Through his confession I had my eyes opened and was left totally stunned. To be honest I do not know how he managed to stomach some of the things he witnessed. He had more fight in him than he thought.
I did not know what to make of some of the characters and I found it hard to trust them. There were a couple however that I really liked.
‘Black Drop’ is historical fiction at its best. It is a political thriller with all the ingredients to make this a great book. Murder, traitors, spies, it has it all. You will not want to put it down.
I have everything crossed that there will be more books from Leonora Nattrass. This is an author to watch for sure.
‘Black Drop’ is available from:-
About the Author
Leonora Nattrass studied eighteen-century literature and politics, and spent ten years lecturing in English and publishing works on William Cobbett. She then moved to Cornwall, where she lives in a seventeenth-century house with seventeenth-century draughts, and spins the fleeces of her traditional Ryeland sheep into yarn. Black Drop is her first novel.