This gripping mystery novel is set in a dark era in 1817 London and the main artery that pumps through the story is focused on the sinister side of capital punishment. Written in 2001, Bernard Cornwell explores the life of war veteran Rider Sandman who is employed to investigate the death sentence handed down to a seemingly guilty murderer named Corday. However, the job soon proves to be harder than expected as it turns from a simple formality into a spiralling web of conspiracy as he struggles to untangle a mess of lies as the real killer remains frustratingly concealed.
A gallows thief refers to a person who thwarts the hanging of someone who is innocent and it is down to Sandman to become a gallows thief and unmask the real killer. Set over an intense period of just eight days, this story is filled to the brim with suspense as the war veteran rushes to the gallows to save Corday from death.
However, time is fast running out and listeners will wait with baited breath to see if Sandman can bring the real killer to justice or if the trap doors will fall on Corday before he can stop the execution.