When magistrate Patrick Colquhoun orders a habitual thief and ne'er-do-well transported to Botany Bay, he doesn't realize a 14-year-old boy has been left behind to follow in his father's footsteps - not until young John Pickett is hauled into Bow Street for stealing an apple from the produce market at Covent Garden.
Feeling to some extent responsible for the boy, Mr. Colquhoun prevails upon Elias Granger, a prosperous coal merchant, to take him on as an apprentice. For the next five years, John Pickett hauls coal in exchange for room and board. The work is dirty and hard, but the drudgery is lightened by the occasional deliveries to Bow Street, where Mr. Colquhoun usually tosses Pickett a coin for his pains. An even more pleasant diversion exists in the form of Mr. Granger's pert daughter Sophy, with whom Pickett tumbles headlong into love.
And then one day 19-year-old John Pickett stumbles by accident into a criminal investigation that will bring him once again to the attention of Bow Street for an entirely different reason, and will change the course of his life.
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Delicious language, wonderful narrator
John Picket is a great character!
The ending was satisfying
The narrator was very skillful at realistic accents and portraying different characters, both male and female, to be easily recognizable and also match their personality and station in society.
I don't want to spoil the story, but overall it was the changes in John's situation caused by his choices.
I like the chance to listen to a short introductory novella to see if I like the author as opposed to committing to listening to 7 or 8 hours because it is hard for me to just give up on a book in the middle. I plan to get the next one in the series.