Publication: 22nd October 2018
A hidden masterpiece.A secret buried for 500 years.And one woman determined to uncover the truth.
When London tour guide Helen Oddfellow meets a historian on the trail of a lost manuscript, she’s intrigued by the mystery – and the man. But the pair are not the only ones desperate to find the missing final play by sixteenth century English playwright Christopher Marlowe. What starts as a literary puzzle quickly becomes a quest with deadly consequences.When Helen realises the play hides an explosive religious secret, she begins to understand how much is at stake. Relying on her quick wits, she battles far-right thugs, eccentric aristocrats and an ancient religious foundation, each with their own motives for getting their hands on the manuscript. She discovers there is a price to pay for secret knowledge, but how high is too high?
Unlawful Things was shortlisted for the Virago/The Pool New Crime Writer Award. If you love a bit of historical sleuthing and a healthy dose of fast-paced action, you’ll enjoy this intriguing debut thriller from Anna Sayburn Lane. Discover Unlawful Things today!
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of UNLAWFUL THINGS, the suspenseful, atmospheric, and gripping new novel by Anna Sayburn Lane. I’d like to thank Anne Cater for inviting me to take part and for providing me with a copy of the novel.
I do love a good thriller mixed with a centuries-old mystery and bookish and smart characters and that’s what Anna Sayburn Lane’s novel delivers. Meet Helen Oddfellow, a young woman who is doing her PhD on Christopher Marlowe while working as a guide on historical tours around London. Meet Richard Watson, a renowned historian researching the history of a family who once had a prestigious position at the court of Elizabeth I. And meet Nick Wilson, a young reporter writing about the violence caused by racism following the opening of a new mosque. How are these three people connected? How do their paths cross? It revolves all around the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, his tragic death, and a possible lost play.
The author really did her research into Elizabethan history and literature, the writing of Christopher Marlowe, religious beliefs, secret societies, conspiracies, and court alliances of the time. Featuring historical figures like Walter Raleigh, Thomas Becket (the Archbishop of Canterbury), and, of course, Christopher Marlowe, I found it all very fascinating and it really kept me glued to the pages, especially the mystery behind Christopher Marlowe’s death.
Religion and racism are at the center of the novel and there is murder, kidnapping, and torture with a bit of romanticism that fits perfectly in the plot. If you love a well-written and thrilling mystery with a dark atmosphere, if you’d like to travel back in time to the sixteenth century in the English court, then UNLAWFUL THING is a must-read!
Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.
She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey.
Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.
She has told stories at London club The Story Party and One Eye Grey’s Halloween event, Moon Over the Lido.
Author Page on Facebook