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To The Dark
by Chris Nickson

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Severn House Publishers

Series: A Simon Westow Mystery, Book 3
Genre: Historical Mystery



Winter is about to take a chilling twist…

Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.

A coded notebook found in Laurence’s room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who’s now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon’s hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who’ll happily kill him in a heartbeat – if they can.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for the Simon Westow Mystery Series

“This dark tale features a strong and sympathetic hero as well as equally appealing supporting characters … Likely to draw in readers of Andrea Penrose, Charles Finch, and Anne Perry” -Library Journal on The Hanging Psalm

“This historical tour de force reminds readers who come for the mystery that life hasn’t changed for the disenfranchised” -Kirkus Reviews Starred Review of The Hocus Girl

“Gripping … offers authentic period ambiance, vivid characters, crisp dialogue, and plenty of twists” – Booklist on The Hanging Psalm

“Outstanding … Historical mysteries don’t get much better than this” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review of The Hocus Girl

“An exciting debut … Steeped in Regency atmosphere, it holds your interest from beginning to end” – Kirkus Reviews on The Hanging Psalm

“Solid … a welcome contrast to such aristocratic Regency sleuths as C.S. Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr.” – Publishers Weekly on The Hanging Psalm

“This is an excellent historical mystery, the second in the Simon Westow series. Readers will enjoy it and look forward to additional books.” – Historical Novels Review of The Hocus Girl

“Beautifully balanced between suspense and action … the historical background … as always, engaging, detailed and authentic.” – Joanne Harris, bestselling author of Chocolat, on The Hocus Girl

“Combines multiple twists, vivid descriptions of life in the early nineteenth century, strong characters, and a surprising ending. A perfect read-alike for David Liss’ popular series starring another British thief-taker.” – Benjamin Weaver, Booklist on The Hocus Girl

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

To The Dark By Chris Nickson.

A riveting, impeccably written historical crime novel.

Leads England 1823 after two weeks of being snowed in the snow has started to melt.

The industrial revolution brought about factories that spew heavy smoke into the air, and jobs means a steady influx of people. Simon Westow, a thief-taker and his assistant Jane. Both making their living on rewards for the return of stolen goods. A profitable occupation to be sure, as theft is a constant occurrence in Leeds.

When the snow melts, a body surfaces, that of Laurence Poole a thief. Poole was involved in the Fullbrook robbery, and Simon was able to recover the goods stolen that Poole had taken. In close inspection Westow and Jane retrieve a coded notebook from Laurence’s Pooles room, just before the Constable has any time to search for clues. The notebook mentions a notorious fence Charlie Harker, but most of it is in code. Relying on information from Harker Simon and Jane find themselves plunging deeper into a dangerous mystery.

An absorbing plot line, with highly realistic details makes for an intense crime thriller. The novel starts off like a steam roller and didn’t let up. Right from the beginning you are immediately hooked. Chris Nickson excels beyond comparison, and I have to say he one of my favorite authors. The cast of characters are so well depicted with his outstanding narration. The book is at contant brisk pace making it absolutely un-put-down-able.

Jane is an outstanding character, able to blend into shadows almost undetected. A clever girl who can be a force to be reckoned with. Stealth with a past habitual habit of cutting herself for her failures. She adds so much complexity to the storyline. She is incredible and I see why she has a vast reader following.

To The Dark is the third book in Chris Nickson’s historical crime series featuring thief-taker Simon Westow. Even though it’s in a series, please don’t let that shy you away from venturing into its dark corners. The author is that good, he gives just enough backstory that it’s an easy standalone.

A masterfully written historical crime novel that is a rewarding read!

I’m a novelist and music journalist, the author of many books set between the 1730s and 1950s in Leeds, as well as others in medieval Chesterfield and 1980s Seattle.

Above all, though, it’s Leeds I love, the people, the sense of the place changing with time. Yes, I write mysteries, but ultimately they’re books about people and their relationships, and the crime becomes a moral framework for the story.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Friday, February 26
Review at Novels Alive

Saturday, February 27
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Sunday, February 28
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, March 1
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, March 2
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, March 3
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, March 4
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Friday, March 5
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at A Darn Good Read


Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

To the Dark


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