The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas

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The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A big, fast-paced and bloody story of English agents, the French Revolution and a young heroine.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 808 Date: January 2013
Publisher: The Never Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0956742254

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In the first part of The Roxy Compendium we discovered that one of our heroes had had his heart broken by a lady called Abigail Hardwoode and there were hints that this lady's history was rather unusual. Graham Thomas isn't one to leave us in suspense for too long and he takes us back more than a quarter of a century to the time when Abigail first met her beloved Benjamin Ananas. What she could not know was that events in France involved a British Secret Agent when his family was kidnapped - and then Abigail's parents when they were tricked into undertaking a mission to rescue them which was off the books. When they were captured only one man, agent Hilary Weaver, believed them to be innocent and Abigail, snatched from her peaceful, high society life, headed to France to find them - and broke her lover's heart.

Hats Off to Brandenburg was a Regency romp with a group of players who lived, loved and played hard. The Other Woman is different: this is France and the year is 1789. This is a revolutionary riot. Thomas seamlessly knits together a fast-paced story and historical fact and you're going to be expected to keep up with the pace - he's not lost any of his talent for creating filmic action scenes with a high body count. The French Revolution was bloody - and Thomas doesn't shirk his duty in telling it like it was. He evokes the atmosphere in Paris - particularly around the storming of the Bastille - with real skill and panache. I knew how it ended but I still couldn't put it down!

The characters are superb: Abigail Hardwood puts me in mind of an early day Lara Croft - a complete contradiction to the stereotypical female character of the age. She's beautiful, intelligent and fearless - as well as being totally believeable. The men perhaps pale a little beside her (and occasionally blended one into the other), but that's only to be expected with such a strong heroine.

I'd describe 'The Other Woman' and 'Hats Off To Brandenburg' as companion books rather than sequels or prequels - each illuminates the other and there's little in the way of spoilers. It's another big book but the story more than supports it. If I had to be picky I'd comment that a more enthusiastic proof reading would improve the reading experience - I was pulled out of the story rather too often when I had to reread sentences.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you haven't read Hats Off to Brandenburg then do - I think you'll enjoy it. For a non-fiction look at the French Revolution we can recommend Dancing to the Precipice : Lucie De La Tour Du Pin and the French Revolution by Caroline Moorehead.

Buy The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Other Woman (The Roxy Compendium) by Graham Thomas at Amazon.com.


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