An Honourable Thief by Douglas Skelton

Today I pass the blog back to Mandie who has a review of the brand new historical thriller from Douglas Skelton, An Honourable Thief. Our thanks to publisher Camelot for the advance copy and to Kelly of Love Books Group Tours for the tour invite. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 22 September 2022
Publisher: Canelo

About the Book

1715. Jonas Flynt, ex-soldier and reluctant member of the Company of Rogues, a shady intelligence group run by ruthless spymaster Nathaniel Charters, is ordered to recover a missing document. Its contents could prove devastating in the wrong hands.

On her deathbed, the late Queen Anne may have promised the nation to her half-brother James, the Old Pretender, rather than the new king, George I. But the will has been lost. It may decide the fate of the nation.

The crown must recover it at all costs.

The trail takes Jonas from the dark and dangerous streets of London to an Edinburgh in chaos. He soon realises there are others on the hunt, and becomes embroiled in a long overdue family reunion, a jail break and a brutal street riot.

When secrets finally come to light, about the crown and about his own past, Jonas will learn that some truths, once discovered, can never be untold…

An atmospheric and utterly compelling blend of crime, history and thriller, to delight fans of S. J. Parris, Andrew Taylor and C. J. Sansom.

Mandie’s Thoughts

As a big fan of the Rebecca Connolly series, I was thrilled to hear that Douglas Skelton was going to start writing historical fiction and even happier when I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour for the book. 

The book is set in 1715 just after the death of Queen Anne. With rumours rife that she had left a will that stipulated her half-brother James Stuart should succeed her, there is a lot of interest on both sides to find out if the document truly does exist and either destroy it or use it to gain power, depending on which camp you were in. Jonas Flynt is employed to find out if the document is real and if so secure it at all costs. Unfortunately for him his quest sees him return to Edinburgh and confront his family and his past, both of which he has been avoiding for fifteen years. 

The opening chapter of the book sets the scene for the action that is to follow and don’t let the pace of it fool you as you will soon find yourself swept along with the action as it moves from London to Edinburgh. Jonas is such a fabulously flawed character but despite how he earns his living you can’t help but like him. He has a moral compass that sees him defend women who society naturally looked down on and a sense of duty to his friends and family that will see him put himself in danger in order to protect them even when the odds are stacked against him. He has a quick wit and often uses humour to disguise his true feelings even down to referring to his pistols as “tact and diplomacy”

There is enough historical facts in the book to give the reader an insight to a period of history that they may not be familiar with, myself included but it is not overloaded that it detracts from the story itself. The interactions between Jonas and his first and probably only love Cassie show how sometimes the past has to stay where it is and you can’t always go back no matter what you really want. 

I can’t wait to see what is in store next for Jonas Flynt and if he will once again cross paths with Madame de Fontaine who is more than a match for him as I am sure he won’t allow her to best him again should they meet.

About the Author

Douglas Skelton has published twelve non fiction books and ten crime thrillers. He has been a bank clerk, tax officer, shelf stacker, meat porter, taxi driver (for two days), wine waiter (for two hours), reporter, investigator and local newspaper editor. He has been longlisted three times for the McIlvanney Prize, most recently in 2022. Douglas contributes to true crime shows on TV and radio and is a regular on the crime writing festival circuit.

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