2021 · Blog Tour · Book review

The Bloodless Boy by Robert J. Lloyd @melvillehouse @robjlloyd

The City of London, 1678. New Year’s Day. The body of a young boy, drained of his blood and with a sequence of numbers inscribed on his skin, is discovered on the snowy bank of the Fleet River.
With London gripped by hysteria, where rumours of Catholic plots and sinister foreign assassins abound, Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, the powerful Justice of Peace for Westminster, is certain of Catholic guilt in the crime. He enlists Robert Hooke, the Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and his assistant, Harry Hunt, to help his enquiry.
Sir Edmund confides to Hooke that the bloodless boy is not the first to have been discovered. He also presents Hooke with a cipher that was left on the body.
That same morning Henry Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Royal Society, blows his brains out. A disgraced Earl is released from the Tower of London, bent on revenge against the King, Charles II.
Wary of the political hornet’s nest they are walking into – and using evidence rather than paranoia in their pursuit of truth – Hooke and Hunt must discover why the boy was murdered, and why his blood was taken. Moreover, what does the cipher mean?

London, 1678, Robert Hooke, the Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and his assistant, Harry Hunt are called in when the body of young boy is found, drained of blood and with numbers inscribed on his skin. It’s revealed that this isn’t this first body to be found and with other strange things happening it’s a major puzzle, is this a plot against the King or is it the work of Catholics?

The Bloodless Boy is a rich historical fiction novel that’s incredibly well written, the author has done a magical job of transporting the reader back in time and as the narrative style fits the period in time I felt like I was there alongside Harry and Robert.

I loved the short chapters in this book, it makes it very difficult to put down though. It’s not a story where you can read just one more chapter, I found myself having a couple of late nights with this one and with a plot that draws you in it’s a real page turner.

There are a lot of characters to get to grips with in this book but what I found really helpful was at the beginning there is a character list, it made it easy to just flip back and forth if needed.

The Bloodless Boy really is a fantastic read, it’s a story with many layers and a host of characters that are fact and fictitious which I loved. It really is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’ll definitely be recommending it.

May thanks to Nikki at Melville House for the blog tour invite and ecopy of the book.

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