Andrew Taylor

In the thieves’ den

Con-men, prostitutes and the infinitely sinister Jonathan Wild are among the cast of Jake Arnott’s thrilling The Fatal Tree

‘To get a confession from a proud male factor, it is always better to call for a poet than a priest.’ These are the wise words of William Archer, the narrator of part of The Fatal Tree and the notional editor of the rest. Mind you, he’s biased: he aspires to be a poet, though he is at best a ‘garreteer’, one of the Grub Street hacks who provide better writers than themselves with lurid copy about the early Georgian underworld they live in.

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