Pickford has unearthed a fascinating early example of the modern murder.
Money, power, ambition, political and royal conspiracy, a young heiress in distress, a fortune-hunter shot down in the street: you couldn't make it up. You don't have to. The story of 14-year-old Lady Bette Percy, married off by her grandmother to Thomas Thynn, a middled-aged rake, for control of her Northumberland estates, is the stuff of Gothic romance or Restoration blood and thunder drama.
..this meticulously researched story of a scandalous marriage and sensational murder is engrossingly told.
Pickford has marshalled an extraordinary historical cast and provides an exciting and truly well-informed whodunit.
Pickford's narrative conjures up scenes straight from a Gainsborough melodrama - murder, mystique and wealth set to the backdrop of the sleazy world of London's taverns and brothels, to the grandeur of Syon and Petworth's vast estates. The prose is vivid and atmospheric, where a trip to the gallows was the height of entertainment. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.