Blood and Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson.
As Corsham delves into the murkier levels of his inquiry his questions unleash violence upon himself, and yet more murders; it becomes clear that it is not only the local hierarchy of Deptford who are intent at hiding at any cost the evil he uncovers - especially the voyage of the ‘Dark Angel’, a slave ship that ran low on water halfway home, and threw more than three hundred men, women and children off the ship to drown. The more Corsham discovers, the more he realises that a very powerful syndicate is pulling the strings, and the legitimate industry of slavery will persist as long as they say so. Human misery is trumped by profit every time.
Ms Shepherd-Robinson’s story moves too slowly to be described as a thriller; dare I say that there are too many minor characters who contribute little to the action, and Corsham asks himself so many questions (no wonder he upsets everybody!) that his introspection becomes a very annoying plot device, BUT! As a harrowing historical account of the worst sin and indignity that the human race can perpetrate against itself, her story works brilliantly. FOUR STARS.