I found this book a real struggle I quite enjoy historical fiction but this was too heavy on the detail and descriptions and I found myself skipping through lengthy passages if it looked like nothing important was happening To its credit I did manage to see it through to the end There were several plotlines and a certain amount of intrigue but I don t think the author really managed to pull them all off The different threads had an odd mix of political as well as action, as if the author wasn t quite sure which route to take There is some romance thrown in too and whilst the couple s relationship appeared to get stronger during the story it didn t seem to be apparent how or why this happened It reminded me a lot of Jed Rubenfield s The Interpretation of Murder and I didn t enjoy that either I think there s a lesson to be learnt here Gosh this has taken me a long time to read I found it hard going in places but wanted to find out how it ended so persevered.Am pleased I finished it and glad it s over I struggled through the first part of this book and then sad to say I willy gave up Life is too short I found I had no empathy with any of the characters as they were all extremely flat The Irish element I found annoying also May go back to it at some stage but would have to be fairly desperate. I enjoy historical fiction but with this book I felt way out of my comfort zone The descriptions were very lengthy at times and I just skimmed most of them Well, to be honest, I skimmed most of the book. When Betrayal Is Second Nature, Trust Is The Ultimate GambleLondon, On The Banks Of The Thames, American Entrepreneur Colonel Samuel Colt Sets Up A State Of The Art Weapons Factory, Capable Of Turning Out His Famous Revolvers In Their Thousands When Edward Lowry Is Hired As Colt S Secretary, He Is Amazed By His Good Luck, But Then He Starts An Affair With A Girl From The Factory Floor, And Realises That Things Are Not What They Seem Among Colt S Machine Operators Are A Desperate Gang From The Devil S Acre, And As Guns Start To Go Missing, It Becomes Clear That There Are Many With Scores To Settle And Murder In Mind One of my all time favourites Firstly, I loved the setting The descriptions of Victorian London really drew me into that world Having lived in London some of the places in the book are really familiar and when I walk by places like Greenwich Park I m reminded of scenes in the book and find myself playing spot the difference between the present day and Victorian times.The story itself is exciting and fresh You can tell the author really knows what he s writing about The Colt revolver plays a big part in the story and you can tell he s done his research there The characters are realistic and I like how some of the main characters have a mix of stereotypically good and bad traits I think Martin was a great main character, I was really invested in his journey It was interesting how he was so often torn between two different paths All the characters including supporting ones such as factory workers and the rest of the Molly s were well written and had their own backstories I would definitely recommend this book I enjoyed it start to finish but if you re struggling with the first couple of chapters the action definitely builds as the story goes along so it s worth persevering. I was extremely excited about this book when I purchased it, however after reading the reviews left on here I ended up hesitating and doubting if I would like it It sounded as if previous readers found this book extremely slow paced and not so gripping I am glad to say I did eventually pick it up and gave it a read I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT Yes, it was a little slow paced at times, but no way near long enough for me to lose interest I found the description in this book so vivid Matthew Plampin really paints a picture with words I was completely hooked by the character of Colonel Colt and thoroughly enjoyed reading the chapters containing an insight towards his psyche and his general view of life in London To be honest I don t really know why other readers found this book hard to get into, I found it extremely gripping Definitely do pick it up and give it a read. So it took me an undeniably long time to finish this and that is in part because I found the writing very heavy going in places The writer has done a heap of research for this book and that really comes through, so if you re looking for historical accuracy look no further On the other hand that bogged the progress and flow down in places The plot was great and fully utilised everything possibly available in the backdrop of Victorian London And I find myself missing the characters which is obviously a sign of a good book. This book was a fantastic juxtaposition of opulent parliament and seedy london rookeries The presence of the main characters on the page was almost tangible and very well characterised, and Plampin has managed to capture minor characters through the eyes of the narrating voice I enjoyed the writing style as well with its detailed descriptions of the grim alleys and people in the story. I normally really like historical fiction and the blurb sounded so interesting, but alas no I think if you love really long winded descriptions of guns and gun making machines you ll love this, but I just found it really dragged with all the excessive narration It did pick up towards the end though when the action started.
Matthew Plampin was born in 1975 and grew up in Essex He read English and History of Art at the University of Birmingham and then completed a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London He now lectures on nineteenth century art and architecture.
- 432 pages
- The Devils Acre
- Matthew Plampin
- 12 January 2019 Matthew Plampin