The Betrayal of Thomas True



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by A.J. West

  • Hardback
  • 320 pages
  • Signed by the author

Set in the buried streets of Georgian London and the outrageous underworld of the molly houses, a carpenter hiding a double life searches for a traitor who is betraying the secrets of the mollies. The visceral, raucous, tender and utterly enchanting historical thriller by the award-winning author of The Spirit Engineer.  

‘Heartbreaking, beautiful, lyrical. I was captivated from the start … you won't want to put it down’ Catriona Ward  

‘A rare gem of a novel. Gloriously gritty … a darkly thrilling romp in 18th century London that simmers with sinister menace and illicit temptation’ Susan Stokes-Chapman  

‘Stunning and powerful – an atmospheric thriller that is both heartfelt and meticulously researched. You’ll never forget Thomas True’ Janice Hallett  

‘Really very, very good’ Stephen Fry



The only sin is betrayal…   It is the year 1715, and Thomas True has arrived on old London Bridge with a dangerous secret.

One night, lost amongst the squalor of London's hidden back streets, he finds himself drawn into the outrageous underworld of the molly houses.   Meanwhile, carpenter Gabriel Griffin struggles to hide his double life as Lotty, the molly's stoic guard. When a young man is found murdered, he realises there is a rat amongst them, betraying their secrets to a pair of murderous Justices.

  Can Gabriel unmask the traitor before they hang? Can he save hapless Thomas from peril, and their own forbidden love?   Set amidst the buried streets of Georgian London, The Betrayal of Thomas True is a brutal and devastating thriller, where love must overcome evil, and the only true sin is betrayal…


‘Sometimes you find a novel that is electric … West’s talent as a writer – Dickensian-style vivacious characterisation and fast paced action – make this an unputdownable read’ Attitude Magazine  

‘Quite simply divine – historical, a thriller, comedic, fantastical and, above all, a love story that had me in all sorts of tears’ Jennie Godfrey  

‘A clever mystery, a powerful love story … affected me more than anything I’ve read in a long time’ Gareth Brown  

‘Plunges readers into the dark, treacherous streets of Georgian London in this epic adventure of love in a time of danger – a must-read for lovers of gritty, thrilling, historical fiction. An absolute page-turner!’ Hallie Rubenhold  

‘An exuberant, moving story of double lives, forbidden love and personal identity’ Rosie Andrews  

‘Vivid, impressive and utterly immersive … I was weeping by the final pages. Masterful’ D.V. Bishop  

‘You’ll smile, you’ll gasp, you’ll cry at this Georgian-era thriller awash with mystery and mayhem … and magnificent mollies’ Essie Fox  

‘There has never been a book that made me cry … until today. It chewed me up hard more than once, but it was also funny, colourful and decadent. Truly extraordinary’ Suzie Edge  

‘Fierce, funny, and fabulous; this is an important and deeply moving story’ Jonathan Harvey  

'Both a roaring Georgian romp and a moving story of injustice and discrimination … hugely entertaining' Anna Mazzola  

‘Takes you into the dramatic heart of gay London in the early 18th century. Bursting with memorable characters and stunning imagery … a thriller, a tragedy and a love story all in one’ Sean Lusk  

‘A thrilling historical mystery, brilliantly researched and lavishly written’ Emma Stonex