The Broken Token by Chris Nickson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The City of Leeds in the early 1700s is the backdrop for this story of murder, or more accurately a series of murders. Drawing the reader into the seedy underside and poverty that pervades Leeds, the story follows the Constable of Leeds, Richard Nottingham, and his small band of assistants as they try to uncover the perpetrator while each faces their own particular dramas on the homefront.
Needless to say, the perpetrator is finally uncovered and caught, though the identity of the perpetrator certainly caught this reader unawares. There are a few last-minute twists to the narrative which kept me glued to the pages of the book long past the time I should have put it down, but that is the mark of a well-developed and crafted story.
The attention to detail – from a generic historical perspective – adds to the authenticity of the story created by Nickson, and is, in my opinion at least, one of the significant characters in the metanarrative featured in this novel. The setting of the story in Leeds, and in the time of the early 1700s, is superb, and the characters to whom we are introduced in this opening novel of a series are well developed across the arc of the storyline with scope for so much more in coming instalments.
This opening gambit from Nickson is well worth reading, and I am already looking forward to future developments.
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