This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
India Black is the madam of a 19th century London brothel. She has strict rules on who she allows through the doors of Lotus House and her clients are mainly the wealthy and upper class. One particular client is a government official and when he suffers a heart attack and dies while enjoying the company of one of India’s girls, she feels she has no choice but to dispose of the body. But unbeknown to India, Lotus House has been under surveillance and she becomes embroiled in a political war between Britain and Russia. India is expected to work undercover to retrieve important files from the Russian embassy and with Lotus House under threat, India’s livelihood is dependent on her success.
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For me, India came across as a likeable character quite quickly. She is abrupt and straight-talking, refusing to take any nonsense from anyone and I liked that about her. She’s a feisty woman with a strong sense of independence, which can sometimes land her in trouble. When she’s set with the task of retrieving the files, she is determined to do whatever it takes to succeed. I loved the pairing of India and French, the man who is responsible for recovering the files and draws on India’s help. They’re both witty and desperate to keep the upper hand in their mission.My favourite character from the book was Vincent, a young homeless acquaintance of India’s. He’s a bit cheeky and definitely an opportunist, but I think beneath the dirt and grime there is a sweet boy lurking who can be loyal – as long as there is also some benefit to himself.
Although I found a lot of the political talk in the book a little long-winded, I thought India Black was quite an enjoyable read, full of humour and adventure.