Steps to the Gallows

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

In 1816 London, Leonidas Paige, the writer of a satirical newspaper, hires a bodyguard – he has reason to think his work is striking hard at the many wealthy elite who he lampoons. But even as he hires his bodyguard, he is murdered and left to be found in the midst of his burnt newspapers. The brothers Peter and Paul Skillen arrive at the scene of crime before the Bow Street Runners – the victim was a good friend of their patron and mentor Gully Ackford, and it was his employee who acted as Leonidas’ bodyguard, brutally attacked before the murder. Can the Skillen twins catch the killer before the plodding Runners?

What follows is an exciting hunt through the streets of London as the investigators have to delve into the sordid and secret lives of the most powerful, influential and wealthy members of nobility. Each having good reason to want Paige dead, the newspaper consigned to the dustbins of the past, these powerful men must be treated with cunning, favours and disguise before the murderer is uncovered.