Book Review: Unlawful Things by Anna Sayburn Lane
Helen Oddfellow is a tour guide and an expert on Christopher Marlowe. After a local paper features her Deptford walk she is contacted by historian Richard Watson who needs her help in his quest to track down a supposed lost Marlowe manuscript. My initial thought was I wish something exciting like that would happen to me but I soon changed my mind as the story became a terrifying nightmare for Helen and I no longer wanted to be in her shoes.
The story starts with a horrific murder of an (as yet) unidentified man outside a pub in Deptford and then goes back to tell the story starting from two weeks before the attack. So although we knew what was going to happen it still came as a shock to me, maybe because I identified so much with Helen who seemed to share some of my characteristics which was a bit unnerving!
In the second part of the book Helen continues with her quest to find the truth about the manuscript the plot of which would have ramifications on history as we know it and to escape those who are determined that the truth shouldn’t emerge.
There are many separate strands to this story and it is one of those books that is very hard to put down. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it and wondering what would happen next and how all the strands would tie up.
As real places and historical figures are used in the story I found it to be extremely believable and this probably made it all the more terrifying. It was very difficult to know just who you should trust.
There has been lots of speculation over Christopher Marlowe’s murder in real life and although this was fiction it did make me stop and think. This is definitely a book that will stay with me and I hope to read more of Anna Sayburn Lane’s books in the future.
If I was leaving this review on a book review website I would give it 5 stars out of 5
Unlawful Things by Anna Sayburn Lane was published in October 2018
I was given a complimentary copy of the book via Footprints of London and the above is my honest review