Author: Graham Thomas
Publisher: The Never Press
Release Date: Available Now!
The second book in the excellent Roxy Playhouse series by Graham Thomas, The Other Woman takes us back years into the past, before the events of the first book, Hats Off to Brandenburg. It features a few characters from the previous novel, and we revisit Abigail Hardwoode, and discover the truth of her having to leave her love, Benjamin Ananas.
In Hats Off To Brandenburg, we saw Benjamin Ananas rediscover his lost love, Abigail Hardwoode, whom vanished years ago and left him with a broken heart from which he has never fully recovered.
The Other Woman is her story and fills us in on the missing years from her viewpoint. It was 1789 when Abigail’s life is irreparably shaken; in her small, safe home in the heart of London, she has everything a seventeen-year-old could wish for; she has the London social scene and all of her friends close by, and her developing relationship with Benjamin looks like she has a promising future ahead. But Abigail couldn’t be more wrong. One dark night, a strange man visits her parents, a man named Hilary Weaver, a British secret agent. Hilary’s life collides with Abigail’s and they must fight to prove that her parents, supposedly involved in the French Revolution, are innocent. They embark on an adventure that sees Abigail cutting all ties with her old life, including Benjamin…
There is plenty of action within the pages of The Other Woman; the French Revolution is presented in an interesting and readable way.
Readers will find that they can sympathize with Abigail; a young innocent girl who has no idea of Revolution’s or fighting, and so the readers can learn along with her, and she can voice their questions, What is happening in France? How have her parents become involved?
Another element Graham adds to the mix is the character of Elise, a feisty, hotheaded young girl. She is the ‘old beyond her time’ girl that initially defensive of Abigail. Soon they are best friends, sisters. Elise has a strong heart and deeply hidden emotions, but she has a troubled past due to events that take place at the beginning of the book involving her parents; she is left with her life as shaken as Abigail’s and they bond over this.
As with Hats Off to Brandenburg, this second book also features the secretive movement, The Black Arm. There are a lot of men with very different aims in The Black Arm, with so-and-so double crossing another character there are many surprises when you realise they’ve been working against our main characters the whole time.
Another thing to mention is the artwork, which is sometimes as important to the actual plot of a book and can greatly affect book sales. Graham’s work always has excellent cover art but for this series it is really nice to see the artists impressions of the characters.
As for Graham’s writing, it is top-notch as always, particularly in the fighting scenes, which would usually easily bore me but instead kept me glued page after page. The Other Woman is a great addition to an ever-growing series. Now I just have to wait for book number three… No pressure, Graham!
As always, a quick thank you to The Never Press who sent me this book to review, and to Graham for signing my copy and being an amazing guy!