Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

Reviewed by Keith McCoy, Somerset County Library System
Originally Submitted to Library Journal

Occurring a few months after the excellent tale that was The Devil in the Marshalsea, ne’er-do-well parson’s son Tom Hawkins is once again in trouble in Georgian London.  Recently out of debtor’s prison, he is living off his girlfriend’s money while translating erotica for her bookstore.  First, he finds himself in the debt of one of London’s most notorious underworld figures.  Then he gets involved in a late night fight with the husband of King George’s mistress, followed by a secret meeting with a conniving Queen Caroline.  A priggish neighbor is stabbed to death in his bed, right after an inebriated Tom publicly threatens him.  This all unfolds in confessional retrospect, as Hawkins is being wheeled off to the gallows for murder.  It all comes to a “head” at the end.  Hodgson has provided another pell mell romp through the top and bottom of English society, seen through the eyes of a gentleman who is both a rogue and a naif. 

Verdict:  Those who enjoy their historical action fast and vivid will enjoy the second installment of Thomas Hawkins’ misadventures.