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Publisher's Summary

Rider Sandman, having fought Napoleon in the French wars, expected to lead the life of an English country gentleman. But now, two years after Waterloo, his family is impoverished, his name is disgraced, and he has been forced to relinquish the woman he loves from her obligation to marry him. Desperate to earn money, he accepts the job of being the government's Investigator: an official who discovers whether petitions for mercy sent by condemned criminals should be granted. His first case concerns a portrait painter who is due to hang for murder in a week's time, and the government makes it clear that they want the verdict confirmed. But Rider Sandman, whose qualifications for the post are nonexistent, discovers that the painter is almost certainly innocent and, as he peels back the layers of a corrupt penal system, he finds himself pitted against some of the wealthiest and most ruthless men in Regency England who want to keep the truth hidden.
©2002 Bernard Cornwell; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"Traditional historical mystery readers should cheer." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Peggy on 12-25-07

Awesome

At first I thought Oh No!!!! Bernard has written a lemon but after what seemed to me a slow start it was terrific all the way especially when you decide you know who the killer is and at almost the end you find out whether you are right or not :) Thank you again Mr Cornwell for a well written interesting novel Hopefully he will write a sequel to it

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By John A. Prestbo on 07-04-10

Fine Historical Escape

The prolific Mr. Cornwell has created another set of intriguing circumstances and captivating characters. This one hasn't yet spawned sequels, but it is worthy of doing so.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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