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Our cover this issue features Tucker and Co., Phil Redmond, Fontana Lions, 0 00 6701 27 X, 85p.
It is also available in hardback from BBC Publications, 0 563 20053 7, £4.50 in March. We are grateful for help from Fontana in putting the book on our cover in full colour. Cover photos, by Douglas Playle, show Todd Carty, Erkan Mustafa, Nadia Chambers, Lee MacDonald, Lee Sparke, Paula Taras and Alison Vettles.
This excellent novel won the Whitbread Award for 1980, deservedly so. The plot twists and turns as windingly as the verminous, teeming alleyways of Eighteenth Century London where it is mostly set. Hatred and revenge stalk the seedy ale houses, the shabby Solicitor's chambers and the mouldering lodgings where the characters meet, but, loyalty, friendship and scrupulous honesty are shaded in too and mercifully triumph in the end. David Jones, in an attempt to allay his father's tortured ghost, comes from the country to London in order to right Mr Jones' earlier wrongs, principally towards Mr Diamond, a former business associate. The capital is a far cry from Hertford and the young man must learn fast if he is to survive both the place and the machinations of John Diamond, son of the original injured party. It's not pure history, it's historical adventure, fast and absorbing for competent junior and lower secondary readers.