A good read with interesting storylines. Particularly liked the descriptions of time and place; transported me back in time and made me feel present in the story.
I didn't know what to expect but found a good fast moving story line. Each chapter made you want to read the next one. Really enjoyed the read.
by Colin Thomlinson
Good book I found it a very easy read and I could really get into the characters.
by Alan Dunn
This book by a brand new author is a thoroughly entertaining read from start to finish. It is a historical crime novel set in an exciting era of our history, and the enticing descriptions of buildings and places which still exist today bring them to life in the readers imagination exactly as they must have been back in the day. I for one had to break off from reading to google locations and have made a note of places I must visit, Tilbury Fort for one!
We can only hope that the author will sit down again and bring his detective William Reeves back to the pages to solve another enticing mystery.
Oh yes, and the detective's client is an attractive French femme fatale adding intrigue and spice to the story.
More please Mr D Bissenden............
by Peter Davies
Elegantly written & historically well researched, The French emperor's woman has all the ingredients necessary to captivate a reader's attention: a veteran from the Crimean War turned private detective, the kidnapping of a young French boy, the natural son of an emperor, a delicate political intrigue involving the exiled Napoleon III, some rather despicable criminal shenanigans & a doomed romance, all of it taking place in Gravesend & Dover in 1871. So far so good.
But (yes there is a but) I was personally left hungry by the end. I sometimes found the plot too rushed and the characters underveloped as if the author was trying to cram too many stories within "The Story" without giving us enough time to connect all the dots... OK, I just wanted more time with story but I have to commend the author for his delightful imagination & I will definitely follow him in the future!
by NetGalley review
I really enoyed reading this novel; compelling plot and an insight into a part of history I was unaware of. The descriptions of Victorian Gravesend are very vivid (and made me want to visit the place) and the characterisation of the key protagonists is skillful. Interesting conclusion to the story; didn't see it coming.
by Jane Norton
The first book by DG Bissenden is a successful mix of historical thriller and romance and makes for an impressively pacy read. Characters are lightly sketched but this is not meant as a criticism - it's an approach that fits the style of the book.
The book scores most with its sense of time and place. The locations are clearly known well by the author. It's gritty but not grim.
It opens with a tantalising glimpse the protagonist's backstory during the Crimean War, but quickly moves on. It would be fascinating to see what the author would make of such a meaty historical setting in a future work.
by Andrew Badley
I rarely read fiction but hi I enjoyed greatly.
The descriptions of Gravesend, of Charlie Gordon at New Tavern Fort and the exciting scrapes the hero gets into make this a great read. It would be ideal to be made into a short TV series, if only there was a Kentish television service with the finance to dramatise this and other novels set within the Kingdom of Kent. I would recommend the book as something to amuse and indeed, shine a light on Gravesend's often obscure maritime history.
by Christoph Bull