Maria McCann has with this latest novel moved from the seventeenth century of her earlier novels As Meat Loves Salt (2001) and The Wilding (2010) to the filthy gin soaked streets of eighteenth century London. We meet two heroines; delicate newly married Sophia and hard as nails Betsy-Ann; a former prostitute now a gambler and dealer in stolen goods. The two women live just miles apart but their lives are in stark contrast. Maria McCann has brought the past vividly to life. The depth and breadth of her research is in evidence on every page without ever overwhelming the narrative. The two woman are wonderfully drawn characters and the plot is well paced though the connection between the women quickly becomes obvious. If you read and loved The Devil in the Marshalsea then you will love this book.
Ace,King,Knave is available in paperback from Faber now.
Thanks to lovereading.co.uk for a review copy.