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Author: Phil Simpkin
'Rats is vermin, they need to be destroyed - and their fleas too!' The Rookeries, Leicester, 1851. The Irish dominance of recent years has crumbled following the hanging of the depraved Dubh O'Donnell and his henchman. For Head Constable Robert Charters and his fifty Constables and Sergeants of the Leicester Borough Police, the power struggle for a new 'top dog' within the overcrowded, narrow and fetid streets and alleyways has placed them in daily conflict with the ever increasing number of gangs. This is particularly so of the incomers, fresh up from the Rookeries of St Giles, London and their former lair, the Rats' Castle. Open warfare on the streets of Victorian Leicester? Who can bring the struggle to an end and by what means? This is the second book in the series and a further chance to meet Samson Shepherd, John Beddows, Tanky Smith, Black Tommy Haynes and their colleagues in 'The Borough Boys'. This is a novella, and covers events in Victorian Leicester in the year 1851. Two further novellas covering 1852 and 1853 will be available later this year, before the next full novel covering 1854/5 is released. This is a the second story in the series - another tale of England at its worst. A time that meant wealth and greed to many and poverty, illness and death to many more. Industrial towns were attracting thousands of incomers from Ireland and the traditonal county industries, with the expectation of new jobs and better conditions. Leicester went from a stunning medieval town to a dark, sooty, acrid, septic cesspit of industry and its people suffered. Those that became rich moved from the squalor they created and left it to the poorest. Rookeries sprang up where people were crammed into hovels in tiny yards and alleyways, fighting with rats and beasts for what food or water could be scavenged. This was a time of desperation, where the poor had choices. Sadly this often meant death and poverty or a life of crime. Prison and transportation was no worse then the squalor in which they lived and death to some, a blessing in disguise. So, crime was a 'no brainer' and street pads, pick-pockets, robbers, burglars, cheats and prostitutes of all ages and sex, filled the small, narrow streets of the Borough. The real Borough Boys were employed in 1836 after Robert Peel created local police forces. The Leicester Borough Force covered the area of Leicester town, and its county was covered by a County Force. 50 men alone policed the town day and night, for sixteen hours at a time, seven days a week, in extraordinary conditions. These were the pathfinders of modern police, tough and at times as devious as the people they sought to arrest and convict. Rough, drunk - often - but taking on the worst crime could throw at them. Following on from Jack Ketch's Puppets, this is a further tale about the start of the Borough Police, featuring fictional and historical (real) coppers - 'Borough Boys', such as Robert Charters, Tanky Smith and Black Tommy Haynes...who became legends! This is the second book in the series and I would encourage you to take a chance and read it. If you like Police, history, drama, fiction, murder, crime, you will love the series. It has had great reviews and in July the first two books in the series sat in the top 100 Crime mysteries on KDP free books. Of the reviews across the Amazon market place, all are cuirrently 5*. Somebody out there likes them!