Lead Review (the Betrayal of Thomas True)

  • Book: The Betrayal of Thomas True
  • Location: London
  • Author: A J West

Review Author: tripfiction



First, it might be useful to know that the molly houses in the capital were places where men assembled, often dressed as women, in order to socialise with other men, in whatever way they could. Society abhorred and punished homosexuals, and so they had to be circumspect about their clandestine meet-ups.
Thomas True has left his home, where his fire and brimstone religious father has ruled the roost with a rod of iron. The situation is intolerable for Thomas, who has a sense that he is not like others, his inner voice on a loop relentlessly whispering ‘demon’. He must leave and chooses to head for London.
Upon arrival, he is drawn to the louche side of the city, fantastical and foul, dangerous and debauched, pungent and perilous… the atmosphere of the city is beautifully brought to life in the competent hands of this author.
Gabriel is a carpenter, who leads a double life. He is a guard at the molly house under his assumed name of Lotty, and he, too, is a generously formed character. There is a murder, and it seems there is a traitor within the walls of the house. Can the two young men track the perpetrator down before they end up losing their lives?
The story starts out a real clip, full of energy and colour and is a wonderfully transportive romp through Georgian London, with all the posh houses to admire, the seedier side of life a mere street away. This novel deals with very difficult times in an engaging and entertaining way and the author has a real lightness of touch.

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