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
“Wonderful - a story I never heard before, told with style, pace, character, texture, and tension ... bliss.”
“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 ****”
“Bristling with energy, written with passion, Mad Blood Stirring is a joy to read.”
“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”
“A spirited read inspired by true events”
Woman & Home