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Blood & Sugar

Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (441 ratings)

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Summary

Blood & Sugar is the thrilling debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

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 and 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....

©2019 Laura Shepherd-Robinson (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"A page-turner of a crime thriller.... This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity." (C. J. Sansom)

"Ben Onwukwe has one of the richest voices in audio, resonant, perfectly paced, whether he's reading Frank Bruno's autobiography or Nick Harkaway's sci-fi Gnomon. He rises effortlessly to the challenge of this searing, ingeniously constructed story of the London arm of the 18th-century slaving business." (The Times)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Blood, sweat, toil, ...

Had this book on my wish list for ages then I saw it in a sale BOGOF so nabbed it.

I have to say I’m a bit disappointed as I found it a bit overly long by about an hour and the mystery was solved easily... but ...

I did enjoy the history regarding the British slave trade plus the narration was excellent.

At the end we are given the historical facts around which the book was written and I enjoyed this the most.

20 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

C.J.Sansom recommended this book

And since the Shardlake series are at the top of my favorite Audiobooks i followed his recommendation
and i was not disappointed.
I hope this book will be the beginning of more adventures of the main character Captain Harry Corsham.
A riveting storyline with wonderful characters narrated into life by Ben Onwukwe's deep and sometimes
spine tingling voice makes this Audiobook a joy to listen to.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripping

I don't even know where to start,this book is just outstanding,if you listen to it you are transported back into the 18th century you feel like you are in it. The story about slave trading told in that way is amazing,its not polite ,it doesn't use modern language to ease the burden it tells how it was ( and it was horrible).The other part the classical who did it is super gripping as well,kept on guessing who was the killer,didn't even get close

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exceptionally good

Gripping from beginning to end, with a cast of memorable characters. Best book I've read this year

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Really enjoyed this, great cast of characters, and narrated beautifully. Historical note at the end made it all the more poignant.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ok... but not quite as good as I'd hoped

I'd read reviews of this book and keen to get my hands on it, bought it the day it came out.

and it has a lot going for it - the writing is solid and characters develop and unfold. The narration is good with distinct voices for all the cast (particularly some of the patois from jamaica and africa - though a little hard to follow when listening faster than 1 speed).

but there were two flaws in the book - it was rather long. So long that I became unglued from the plot and why things were happening and who to. The author realises this and has a lot of internal dialogue with the protagonist as he thinks through his options and what he thinks is going on - it becomes a little clunky as a device.

the second part is (possible spoiler, so you might want to stop reading here) that for the whole first half of the book it felt like a rehash of the Taboo TV series. Same themes, same setup - it veers off later, but it left me with the feeling of is this the book of the series? have I read this before. That when added to the feeling of 'this is going on for a long time' wasn't ideal.

is it well written? Yes. Will I read more by the author? Hmmm, possibly not. It does bring the docklands to life and it was lovely knowing a little of the geography and history of the area in more depth. Will it stay with me? I don't think so.

so it might well be for you. And it will definitely make a beautiful looking movie or series, I hope they option the rights and chop out a third of it - that'll make the whole thing sing and be visually gorgeous too.

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Beautifully narrated gripping tale

A haunting tale of slave trading that I will remember for a long time to come.

5 people found this helpful

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Moving and intriguing

Excellent story. No punches pulled when describing the slave trade and how it was justified by those who made huge profits.
Intriguing who dunnit as well.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Magnificent Adventure Story Echoing Historical Events

This is a dramatic tale of relentless sleuthing bringing adventure to the events of times not so long ago.
Laura Shepherd-Robinson deserves much credit for her compelling story and artful writing.
I was captured by this book and highly recommended it to a wide readership.
Follow this one Laura: you’ve set yourself a very high standard and look forward to following you in what, I know, will be a successful career.
Adventurous. Thrilling. Compelling.

4 people found this helpful

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Vivid, rich description so clear you can smell it.

Absolutely exhausted, aching heart and full of adrenaline after reading this. Historical but so modern.

4 people found this helpful