Gallows thief / Bernard Cornwell.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      1st American ed.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: A spellbinding historical drama about an ex-soldier in 1820s London who must help rescue an innocent man from Death Row, by bestselling author Bernard Cornwell It is the end of the Napoleonic Wars and England has just fought its last victorious battle against the French. As Rider Sandman and the other heroes of Waterloo begin to make their way back to England, they find a country where corruption, poverty, and social unrest run rampant, and where "justice" is most often delivered at the end of a hangman's noose. Nowhere in London are the streets as busy as in front of Newgate Prison, its largest penitentiary, where mobs gather regularly to watch the terrible spectacle of the doomed men and women on the gallows' stands. Rider Sandman -- whose reputation on the battlefields of France is exceeded only by his renown on the cricket fields of England -- returns home from war to discover his personal affairs in a shambles. Creditors have taken over his estate, leaving him penniless -- and forcing him to release the woman he loves from her obligations to marry him. Desperate to right his situation, he accepts the offer of a job investigating the claims of innocence by a painter due to hang for murder in a few days' time. The Home Secretary makes it clear that this is pro-forma, and that he expects Sandman to rubber-stamp the verdict. But Sandman's investigation reveals that something is amiss -- that there is merit to the young artist's claims. He further discovers that, though the Queen herself has ordered a reinvestigation of the circumstances, someone else does not want the truth revealed. In a race against the clock, Sandman moves from the hellish bowels of Newgate prison to the perfumed drawing rooms of the aristocracy, determined to rescue the innocent man from the rope. As he begins to peel back the layers of an utterly corrupt penal system, he finds himself pitted against some of the wealthiest and most ruthless men in Regency England. Gallows Thief combines the rich historical texture of Edward Rutherford and the taut suspense of Caleb Carr to create an eviscerating portrait of capital punishment in nineteenth-century London.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      CORNWELL, B. Gallows thief. 1st American ed. [s. l.]: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0060082739. Disponível em: Acesso em: 11 jul. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Cornwell B. Gallows Thief. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers; 2002. Accessed July 11, 2020.
    • AMA11:
      Cornwell B. Gallows Thief. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers; 2002. Accessed July 11, 2020.
    • APA:
      Cornwell, B. (2002). Gallows thief (1st American ed.). HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Cornwell, Bernard. 2002. Gallows Thief. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Harvard:
      Cornwell, B. (2002) Gallows thief. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers. Available at: (Accessed: 11 July 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Cornwell, B 2002, Gallows thief, 1st American ed., HarperCollins Publishers, viewed 11 July 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Cornwell, Bernard. Gallows Thief. 1st American ed., HarperCollins Publishers, 2002. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Cornwell, Bernard. Gallows Thief. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers, 2002.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Cornwell B. Gallows thief [Internet]. 1st American ed. HarperCollins Publishers; 2002 [cited 2020 Jul 11]. Available from:


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 May 2002

Cornwell, author of the best-selling Richard Sharpe saga, turns his attention from the battlefield in this meticulously crafted historical mystery. After successfully defending his country at Waterloo, Captain Rider Sandman returns to England to face bankruptcy and disgrace. Unable to pay off his enormous gambling debts, Rider's father has committed suicide, leaving his son to uphold the family honor. Penniless and without prospects, Rider sells his commission to house his mother and younger sister. Looking for any type of honest work that will enable him to live and to pay off some of his father's creditors, he accepts an assignment to investigate the circumstances of the brutal rape and murder of the countess of Avebury. Though a hapless young portrait painter has already been convicted of the crime, Sandman begins to suspect well-connected members of the aristocracy have framed him. Racing against time to save a man from the gallows, his inquiries lead him into the seamy underbelly of upper-class Regency society. Cornwell's flair for authentic detailing distinguishes this suspenseful, action-packed period whodunit. ((Reviewed May 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

LJ Reviews 2002 April #2

Disgraced by his father's suicide and impoverished by the debts that drove him to it, Capt. Rider Sandman, late of His Majesty's 52nd Regiment of Foot, has been forced to sell his commission to support his mother and sister. Desperate to earn a living but with no skills besides soldiering and cricket, he has come to London in search of a job. When the Home Secretary offers him temporary employment investigating a sensational murder, he accepts it as easy money. All he has to do is elicit a confession from the young artist accused of raping and murdering the Countess of Avebury during her portrait sitting. But when Sandman visits him in Newgate, the artist defends his innocence so vehemently that Sandman begins to have his doubts. Unwillingly, he is drawn into an investigation that not only risks his life but introduces him to the darkest secrets of several aristocratic families. As with his popular Richard Sharpe novels (Sharpe's Trafalgar) and his Arthurian trilogy, "The Warlord Chronicles," Cornwell is superb at weaving the ambience and issues of the day (this time Regency England) with a gripping plot and a memorable character. Readers will hope to see more. Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

PW Reviews 2002 April #5

Fans of Cornwell's gallant up-from-the-ranks rifleman, Richard Sharpe, will welcome the upright Captain Rider Sandman, a veteran, like Sharpe, of Waterloo and the Peninsula campaign, in a mystery that highlights the horrors of capital punishment in Regency England. Compelled as a civilian to play cricket to earn a bare living in the wake of his disgraced father's financial ruin and suicide, Sandman can hardly refuse the Home Secretary's job offer of looking into the case of Charles Corday, a portrait painter convicted of murdering the Countess of Avebury. Since Corday's mother has the ear of Queen Charlotte, someone has to go through the motions of confirming Corday's guilt before he goes to the scaffold. Sandman, though, soon realizes that the man is innocent, and to prove it he has to locate a servant girl who was a likely witness to the countess's murder and has now disappeared. Sandman's investigation leads him to confront the corrupt and decadent members of London's Seraphim Club, but fortunately his reputation as a brave battlefield officer turns into allies any number of ex-soldier ruffians who might otherwise have given him trouble. The suspense mounts as Sandman must race the clock to prevent a miscarriage of justice at the nail-biting climax. An unresolved subplot involving our hero's ex-fiancEe, who still loves him despite his fall into poverty, suggests that Sandman will be back for further crime-solving adventures. Traditional historical mystery readers should cheer. (May 5) Forecast: Since the Sharpe series already has a strong following among mystery fans, it should be easy for Cornwell to build on that audience if this is indeed the start of a new crime series. He is also the author of two other historical series, the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles and the Warlord Chronicles. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.