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Laura Shepherd-Robinson Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Blood & Sugar (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Laura Shepherd-Robinson is a reputed English novelist, who is known for writing mystery, thriller, historical fiction, crime, and suspense stories. She has recently begun her writing career and has published just one book so far. She is hopeful that the book is going to do well and is going to establish her among the ranks of reputed authors of mystery and historical fiction books. Author Laura was born in 1976 in Bristol. She studied at Bristol University and obtained a BSc degree in Politics. Later, she also joined the London School of Economics and earned her MSc degree in Political Theory.

Prior to taking up writing as a career, Laura worked in the field of politics. After being active in politics for about 20 years, she returned to normal life and completed an MA in the subject of Creative Writing from City University. Currently, Laura resides in London. She is happily married to her husband named Adrian. The authors who have inspired and influenced Laura to become a novelist include Andrew Taylor, Charles Palliser, C.J. Sansom, Abir Mukherjee, Robert Harris, Antonia Hodgson, Iain Pears, etc.

Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s debut book is entitled ‘Blood & Sugar’. It was released in January 2019 by the Mantle publication. The book follows a historical fiction tale set in 1781 in Deptford, London. Laura has depicted the chief protagonist in the book in the role of Captain Harry Corsham. The other essential characters created by her in this novel include Thaddeus Archer, Caro, Gabriel, Amelia, etc. Harry Corsham is described as a war hero, who returns home from duty in the United States after suffering PTSD. Due to his mental condition, Harry’s marriage with Caro goes through a tough time. Caro belongs to a wealthy and powerful banking family. She has a son with Harry Corsham named Gabriel. Harry adores his son very much. He and Thaddeus Archer are close friends. Thaddeus or Tad, as he is often referred to as by his near and dear ones, is a lawyer by profession. He works to abolish slavery from the British society, which was present during the 18th century.

A case that Tad Archer is working on makes Harry Corsham get involved in a suspenseful situation and sets him on a journey to find his old friend. Harry Corsham is about to get elected as a parliamentarian and fears that his political career will end before it begins if he sets off to find Tad. The novel opens by showing that an unidentified dead body is found hanging upon a hook at the dock in Deptford. It is also found that the victim was brutally tortured before his murder and then labeled with the mark of a slave. A few days later, Harry Corsham is seen as being hopeful of a promising career as a politician. He is a decorated war hero and has a great reputation among the people of the city. Just when Harry is about to take the first step towards a new parliamentary career, he is visited by one of his old friend’s sister. Amelia, who is the sister of the passionate abolitionist Thaddeus Archer, informs Harry Corsham that her brother had gone to Deptford with some solid proof for exposing a secret and did not return.

Amelia also adds that Tad Archer believed his finding could cause great damage to the slaving industry of Britain. With such volatile information in his hand, Tad had become the target of many people who were trying to stop him from unraveling the secret at any cost. Amelia fears that something terrible has happened to her brother because he was supposed to return to her some days back but there is no information about him. Harry Corsham also worries about Tad Archer’s safety and sets out to find him. He reaches Deptford and begins an investigation to locate his old buddy. As Harry continues to move forward with the investigation, he learns about the conspiracy that his friend had unearthed. He also becomes shaken by the deadly information and delves into the conspiracy’s heart to reveal it to the concerned authorities as well as to the public. However, his efforts in providing justice to Tad Archer and free the society from slavery threaten the prospects of his political career. It also puts the lives of his family members and his own in danger.

Harry Corsham faces a reckoning with the past and starts worrying about his family’s happiness. He realizes that the secrets he is trying to reveal are powerful enough to bring about his destruction. This book is beautifully written by Laura. She has captured the eighteenth century very well. Laura has shown the stench, the grime, the greed, and the lack of compassion and morals perfectly. She has also shown how these factors were responsible for the growth of the slave industry in the United Kingdom at that time. Even the horrors of slave ships are described exceptionally well. Laura’s intention behind depicting all these elements is to illustrate the situation’s reality that the poor people of that time had to face. Harry Corsham appears to be a great character. The plot looks complex but fully absorbing.

Overall, the novel is quite good to read and entertaining from start to end. The critics have reviewed Laura’s first work positively and have said that she has researched her work very well. Harry Corsham’s character seems to have a great depth in it. His relationship with Tad Archer looks emotionally affecting and poignant. Many readers believe that this novel effectively depicts the situation of slavery in England that was prevalent until 1807. Also, the author has described how slavery affected the lives of poor people and how rich people used to take advantage of their helplessness. Through Tad Archer’s character, it is seen how abolitionists faced hardships when they tried to shift the perceptions of people and instigate change. This novel marked the fantastic debut of Laura and helped her taste success with her very first attempt. Laura is hopeful of writing many more exciting stories in the years to come and entertain her fans.

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