Book Review – Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Today I’m sharing my review of the outstanding Blood & Sugar, a brilliant historical crime fiction debut novel by Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

About the book:

June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.

Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .

To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.

And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .

About the author:


Laura Shepherd-Robinson was born in Bristol in 1976. She has a BSc in Politics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics. Laura worked in politics for nearly twenty years before re-entering normal life to complete an MA in Creative Writing at City University. She lives in London with her husband, Adrian. Blood & Sugar is her first novel.

My Review:

A heart stopping and gut wrenching novel that took my breath away. It opened my eyes to the slaving industry of the eighteenth century, a shameful era of British history that I knew very little about. Blood & Sugar is an outstanding debut, beautifully written, that reads very much like the literary classics I devoured in my youth.

Laura Shepherd-Robinson weaves a story steeped in history that brings eighteenth century Deptford vividly to life. With rich and complex characters, this is a tale filled with intrigue and suspense. Superbly researched and with an intricately woven plot, there are twists and turns aplenty that will keep you guessing throughout.

It is in turns both shocking and brutal, a historical crime fiction novel that delves deep into the history of the slaving industry. Although it is a work of fiction, there are parts of the story that are interwoven with fact, and it is devastatingly honest in its depiction of the appalling horrors that were carried out on board slaving ships.

A thrilling and moving debut that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautifully written and thought-provoking novel. Laura Shepherd-Robinson is an author to look out for and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is available to buy now: Amazon UK

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