Blood & Sugar is the debut historical novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
A page-turner of a crime thriller . . . This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity.C. J. Sansom
June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.
Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . .
To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him.
And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford . . .
Praise for Blood & Sugar
Laura Shepherd-Robinson has written a story that is not only a page-turner of a crime thriller but, to an extent unusual in historical novels, where you feel you really are listening to a voice from the eighteenth century. This is a world conveyed with convincing, terrible clarity.C. J. Sansom
A striking historical thriller that exposes the horrors of Britain’s slave trade . . . Few first novels are as accomplished as this.Andrew Taylor
With her magnificent debut, Laura Shepherd-Robinson has at once proved herself a star. Blood & Sugar is immersive, bold and breath-taking, a tense and gripping historical thriller that shines an unwavering light on a dark period in British history. Unmissable.Antonia Hodgson
Utterly compelling . . . The next star of historical crime fiction has arrived.R. N. Morris
Blood & Sugar is a remarkably assured debut. With meticulous research Shepherd-Robinson has created a dark and visceral eighteenth century world that exposes disturbing truths about the slave trade.EC Fremantle
Both an assured and atmospheric historical thriller and a brave exploration of the slave industry in the 18th century. I refuse to believe this is a debut… Brilliant.Anna Mazzola
Blood & Sugar is a phenomenal debut and a shoe-in for one of the books of the year for 2019. It oozes with atmosphere and classy writing. An historical novel to savour, exposing the dark secrets of the eighteenth century slave trade. On this form, Shepherd-Robinson surely has a stellar career in front of her.David Young
Epic, harrowing, thrilling, brutal, addictive. I read it flat out in one day.CJ Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
Blood & Sugar is more than just a book, it plunges the reader into the vividly compelling world of 18th century London and the horrors of the slave trade. With a hugely likeable hero at its heart, this rich and beautifully written debut marks out Laura Shepherd-Robinson as a major new talent.Fiona Cummins
Every colour, sound and smell of 1780s Deptford flew off the page and the depth of the characters, without exception, was extraordinary.Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies
I loved it. A gripping mystery set in a world I knew little about but found myself totally immersed in, with characters that will stay with me.Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request
A sensational debut set in 1780s London. Incredibly harrowing at times, the mystery at the centre of this story is as compelling as any contemporary thriller. Dark, beautifuly-rendered, and gripping. SUPERB.Will Dean, author of Dark Pines
A book to be savoured. Characters and setting so vividly depicted, and a story both bold and heart-breaking. I can’t recommend it enough.Jo Jakeman, author of Sticks and Stones
“Blood & Sugar had me gripped me from the start and didn’t let go. Shepherd-Robinson recreates a time and a place that most people would rather forget existed and forces us to be appalled once again. She does so with a thrilling narrative, compelling characters and a hugely satisfying plot. I had a hard time believing this was a first novel and I can’t wait for the next one.”Martyn Waites
“A highly evocative and compelling tale which delves deep into one of the murkiest and most shameful periods in British history with courage, heart and a keen eye for the inherent corruption of the slave trade.”Rachel Edwards, author of Darling
A truly addictive read about such a terrible and important part of our history.Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl
There is so much I could say about this gripping and original book as I absolutely loved it and will be recommending it to everyone! I felt as though I could envisage every scene and was swept along with the vivid, strong characters. I kept thinking one more chapter… one more… and if I didn’t have three children to look after I would’ve read it through in one night!Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend
I was completely swept away by Blood & Sugar, an immersive and exhilarating crime novel that dissects the brutal underbelly of eighteenth century London with razor blade clarity and brings to life one of the most shameful periods of British history.Holly Seddon
I haven’t read such an accomplished historical novel since I was introduced to C.J. Sansom.Jo Spain
An extraordinary crime novel…the pace, plotting, characterization, setting, prose, and research are all up there with the greats.Jeremy Duns
A quite incredible debut. The writing is textured and assured, and the characters engaging, intriguing and complex. Moreover, I thought the book handled its horrific subject matter with great sensitivity, without downplaying the historical realities of the times.Rod Reynolds
Laura has created a host of memorable, convincing and, in many cases, damaged characters, all of whom are touched in some way by the slave trade, which operates from the suitably foetid Deptford docks. She really gets under the skin of the place. Intriguing, intelligent, inspired writing.Abi Silver
An extraordinary historical crime novel . . . Immersive, addictive and moving, Blood & Sugar is a must for readers of historical crime fiction.Olivia Kiernan, author of Too Close to Breathe
Blood & Sugar is uniquely horrifying and gripping in the way that only the most meticulously researched and expertly reimagined historical novels can be . . . An extraordinary achievement.Emily Elgar, author of If You Knew Her
The most absorbing, intelligent and breathtakingly atmospheric novel I’ve read in a long time. Laura combines the brutal and graceful to such stunning effect I still can’t believe it’s a debut!Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks
A richly evocative page-turner.Tammy Cohen
I devoured Blood & Sugar over the course of a few days and LOVED it . . . Dark and shocking, with an intricate plot and believable characters I felt completely immersed in eighteenth-century Britain.Lisa Hall
It’s captivating from the first page to the very last. Blood & Sugar is so well-written that I could smell the Deptford docks and the desperation emanating from the pages. Elegant, thrilling and utterly fascinating, this book has it all.’Marnie Riches
I loved Blood & Sugar. It’s so beautifully descriptive without losing anything to pace . . . Just brilliant.Joanna Nadin, author of The Queen of Bloody Everything
An incredible debut novel – beautifully written, fast-paced and suspenseful, with one hell of an emotional punch. Quite simply a must-read for any crime fiction fan.Steph Broadribb