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Simon Mayo delivers the best of reading group fiction. A robust historical novel with a beating heart, MAD BLOOD STIRRING shines new light on one of life’s oldest truths; sometimes, in our darkest hour, it can be the most unlikely of things that see us through.

'The plot of Mad Blood Stirring grows from a kernel of historical truth, but his book dazzles not so much as fact than as fiction...Instructive as well as entertaining'
NEW YORK TIMES
1815: The war is over but for the inmates at Dartmoor Prison, peace - like home - is still a long way away.

On the eve of the year 1815, the captured sailors of the Eagle arrive at Dartmoor prison; bedraggled, exhausted, sustained only by a rumour heard along the way.

Joe Hill thought he’d left the conflict behind but it is clear there is a different type of battle here. As he announces the news of the end of the war, the guards bristle and the inmates stir. The powder keg was fixed to blow and Joe has just lit the fuse.

Elizabeth Shortland, the Governor’s wife, looks out at the unsettled crowd. The peace means the end is near, that she needn’t be here for ever. But suddenly, she cannot bear the thought of leaving.

Inspired by true events, Mad Blood Stirring is a story of hope and freedom, of loss and suffering. It is a story about how sometimes, in our darkest hour, it can be the most unlikely of things that see us through.

*

'Wonderful - a story I never heard before, told with style, pace, character, texture, and tension ... bliss.' Lee Child

'Bristling with energy, written with passion, Mad Blood Stirring is a joy to read.' John Boyne

Reviews

Wonderful - a story I never heard before, told with style, pace, character, texture, and tension ... bliss.

Lee Child

If you like your historical thrillers dark and emotional, you’ll absolutely love getting swept up in this one

Sarah Hughes, Heat

Well researched and full of action, Mayo brings a forgotten moment in history to life ****

Sun

Bristling with energy, written with passion, Mad Blood Stirring is a joy to read.

John Boyne

Mad Blood Stirring is an astonishing account of an explosive piece of neglected history. It's a rapid page turner with dark humour, intellectual heft, and a gallery of deeply human characters that shake our spirits.

Sir Kenneth Branagh

Fascinating . . . it has genuine energy and drive

Sunday Times

A spirited read inspired by true events

Woman & Home

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784162962

    February 7, 2019

    Black Swan

    480 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473544246

    April 19, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    480 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
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    • eBooks

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