Saturday, January 23, 2021

Circles of Deceit by Paul CW Beatty - Book Tour

Circles of Deceit

Murder, conspiracy, radicalism, poverty, riot, violence, capitalism, technology: everything is up for grabs in the early part of Victoria’s reign.

Radical politicians, constitutional activists and trade unionists are being professionally assassinated. When Josiah Ainscough of the Stockport Police thwarts an attempt on the life of the Chartist leader, Feargus O’Connor, he receives public praise, but earns the enmity of the assassin, who vows to kill him.

‘Circles of Deceit’, the second of Paul CW Beatty’s Constable Josiah Ainscough’s historical murder mysteries, gives a superb and electric picture of what it was to live in 1840s England. The novel is set in one of the most turbulent political periods in British history, 1842-1843, when liberties and constitutional change were at the top of the political agenda, pursued using methods fair or foul.

Purchase Links

It might be the Victorian era but Circles of Deceit is set in the early part of Victoria’s reign when political and social turmoil were on the national agenda. There was discontent in mills and other industries, and this began to boil over into riots and confrontations with troops…

 [The marchers] turned into the market square. There were barricades around the Castle Mill manned by lines of soldiers in tight formation, muskets at the ready. The turn-outs went as far as they could, then stopped. A tense silence fell.

Phillip Burrell stepped forward. He stood tall and went forward with determination towards the town hall. As he approached the line of soldiers in front of the town hall steps two infantry men barred his way by crossing their muskets in front of him.

[A] tipstaff stepped forward. ‘State the nature of your business here,’ he declaimed. Everyone in the square could hear him.

‘I wish to speak with the Mayor. A confrontation where firearms are involved is in nobody’s interest. I hope he will agree to speak with me.’

If Phillip was shaken by the force being displayed against him and his people, Josiah did not hear it in his voice.

A small group stepped on to a first-floor balcony of the town hall. The Mayor was there, Mr Prestbury and Sir Grancester Smyth. The Mayor leant over the rail. ‘I have nothing to say to you Mr Burrell or the rabble at your back.’ He was not confident he was saying the right thing, but he went on, nonetheless. ‘We know of your seditious schemes and conspiracies, but we will not tolerate them here. These are the only words you will hear from us: Mr Prestbury.’

The Chair of the Police Watch Committee stepped forward, his pince-nez in place. He held up a piece of paper and began to read. ‘Our sovereign Lady the Queen Victoria chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the acts for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies.’ He folded the paper and put it in his pocket, ‘The Riot Act has been read. God save the Queen.’

Suddenly, Mr Prestbury’s head jerked back and a splash of blood spattered the Mayor. The sound of the shot had come from behind Josiah, from St Mary’s Parish Church.

Several things happened at once. The soldiers immediately fell back to the town hall steps and others emerged from behind barricades and from the gates of Castle Mill. This left Phillip on his own in the open, which Josiah remedied by racing over to him, barging him and half dragging him to cover.

‘What the hell just happened?’

‘Someone with a rifle has shot Mr Prestbury.’

‘For the love of God why?’

Author Bio – 

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd. 

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

Social Media Links – Twitter @cw_beatty


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.