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
Published by Serpent's Tail / Viper / Profile Books
Reviews & Endorsements
‘Black Drop is a joy from start to finish… Jago is a very sympathetic hero, with all his flaws, virtues and secrets’ – ANDREW TAYLOR
‘A thrilling slice of pitch-dark historical fiction, led by a hugely engaging narrator’ – EMMA STONEX
‘A gripping, intricate story of Georgian high politics and low life’ – W.C. RYAN
‘A sparkling evocation of a distant time which is remarkably similar to the current one. I loved it’ – TREVOR WOOD
‘Well written and well constructed, Jago is a character that readers will want to follow’ – ALIX NATHAN
‘This opium-fuelled gem is a murderous romp through the tangled roots of British democracy’ – JANICE HALLETT
‘Superb. Vivid and fast-paced, it’s an impressive achievement and hugely enjoyable’ – GUY MORPUSS
‘An astounding debut novel, written with style and confidence’ – A.J. WEST