Bit by bit, A Just and Upright Man gathers reviews. It seems that quite a lot of people have to buy the book for each one that reviews it. Somehow, that makes the reviews even sweeter when they come. This one turned up last week on Amazon’s UK site:
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable 23 Feb 2014
Superbly written historical fiction with plenty of suspense and tension to keep you turning the page. I am not familiar with the period in history but had the distinct impression that it was an accurate portrayal of the times. Will be looking for more books from the author RJ Lynch.
“Superbly written”. I like that—who wouldn’t? Another four star review had appeared on the UK Amazon site a few days earlier:
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and Educational 20 Feb 2014
‘A Just and Upright Man’ educated me enchantingly about the culture and practices of the late 18th century, in words I could understand. I wasn’t sure that I grew to know all the characters fully, but it was certainly clear that many of them, including the protagonist had light and dark sides, which left me curious to read more.
I was fascinated by the difference between now and then in how people communicated. If Blakiston needed to ask someone a question, there were no telephones, Facebook or Twitter, and it was not always practical or possible to visit someone or somewhere to simply ask questions. Communications were face to face, by third party word of mouth or in writing, so that geography and transportation mattered, and a single communication became an event or the day’s activity. This, and the story being set against a backdrop of political tensions over change to come and the early challenges to class and gender inequalities, characterized the period very clearly for me.
I experienced the odd unexpected shift from a safe to shocking scene, but suspect that these leaps were carefully designed to depict the harshness of certain aspects of the culture. Dark fears also lurked towards the end of the story, with an 18th century curse threatening to reach its clingy fingers out into Blakiston’s future. This worries me still, but I shall have to wait…
That’s a total now of four reviews in the UK, all of them good, and there are three on Amazon’s US site. I’m glad to have them, even though given the total sales of the book seven reviews since October doesn’t seem a heck of a lot. People like it, though, and they say they’re looking forward to the next in the series. That is so satisfying.