Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.
When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.
Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice.
But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie’s wife.
Set beneath the impenetrable gaze of a stray golden eagle whose fate seems to mirror that of Jamie's, Catching the Eagle, the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series, is a fictionalised account of a trial that devastated a family and divided a community.
I found this book a little slow to get into at the beginning. There are a lot of characters in the book to introduce and I had some trouble keeping everyone straight. Once I managed that, everything flowed really well and I greatly enjoyed the author's, Karen Charlton's, writing style. She gave just enough description that I could see the scenes in my mind, then let my imagination take over.
The novel depicted the vast differences in the social stations at the turn of the 19th century. The nobles and the wealthy held the power, and we see how Jamie, a poor farmer, is railroaded through the legal system. Ms. Charlton wrote in vivid detail the horrid conditions of the jail and the mistreatment that Jamie went through. I really wanted to bring him a pizza! Yet, all the evidence was circumstantial at best. He just didn't have the social standing to have the charges dismissed.
The absolute best part of this book is that it is based on a true story. Jamie Charlton is an ancestor of the author's husband. It was obvious from the beginning that Ms. Charlton put in exhaustive research to get the details of the trial correct, as well as the lives of each character in the novel.
Catching the Eagle is the first in a planned three book series. I cannot wait to find out what happened to Jamie, Will, and all the rest! The book is released today, so run get it for yourself!
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
I give this book 4 Bookworms.
Hardcover: 364 pages
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing (December 8, 2011)
Ebook ASIN: B006IBBNT2