by Siân Busby

  • Published: 06 May 2010
  • Price: £7.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Extent: 480p
  • ISBN: 9781906021887
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  • Buy it now from Waterstones

The winter of 1843 is one of bitter strife for England. The nation is on the brink of ruin and revolution, the government struggling to stand firm against the rising chaos.

Out of this apocalyptic landscape emerges a young Scotsman, Daniel McNaughten. He has been on a journey, a descent into his own despair, mirroring the tribulations of society at large. His journey will end in London, with the death of an apparently innocent man. One freezing day in January, he takes a shot at the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary, Edward Drummond, as he makes his way to Downing Street. The incident rocks the nation.

Has the assassin perhaps mistaken Mr. Drummond for the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel? And who is this McNaughten? A dangerous political radical – possibly the agent of an entire network of revolutionaries – or a religious fanatic? Is he a lunatic, or merely a victim of the collective madness that surrounds him?

Sian Busby’s debut novel is a breathtaking feat of historical scholarship, which takes you to the heart of the Victorian soul. As Daniel McNaughten goes on trial, the dark forces lying beneath the surface of society threaten to break loose and overturn the very order of things. Suddenly, the nation’s sanity seems to be hanging on the destiny of one hapless individual. The verdict against him will change English law forever.

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“Worthy of Dickens… a gripping thriller…a rich, clever, absorbing novel that is extremely hard to fault.” – The Times

“Written with verve, Sian Busby infiltrates the heart and soul of the Victorian world, which uncannily parallels our own.” – Daily Telegraph

“This ingenious fact-into-fiction novel makes a fine, marvellously readable, melodramatic meal of the case that established the `McNaughten Rules’.” – Saga Magazine

“Mcnaughten has an intricacy and sentimentality worthy of Dickens and a satirical eye as sharp as Thackeray’s… A gripping thriller, rich, clever, absorbing and extremely hard to fault …a witty look at men in power and a plot that shocks with an extraordinary twist.” – The Times

“Ingenious” – Daily Mail

About Siân Busby

Siân Busby is an award-winning writer, the author of the highly acclaimed A Wonderful Little Girl, and The Cruel Mother, which won the Mind Book of the Year award in 2005.