The Prospect of This City

London, 1666.

Agent provocateur Rufus Challis is given a secret mission by the Dutch government; an attack on England's capital in reprisal for wartime losses suffered that summer. He has a single weekend to put his plan into motion.

When Tom Farriner, second son to the King's baker, intercepts an aspect of Challis's plan, he investigates. Already, a friend's blood stains the cobbles. Is Tom man enough to bring Challis down? And to what lengths is Challis prepared to go to in order to see the city fall?

A novel for fans of CJ Sansom, Hilary Mantel, and Manda (MC) Scott, The Prospect of This City is a dark historical thriller with a blade concealed in its sleeve.


Prospect's title comes from a detail of a 17th century engraving of London, showing the full extent of the damage cause by the 1666 Great Fire. Here's the full image

The novel's a work of fiction. It's not a documentary recounting of the events of the Great Fire (there are plenty of history books that'll do just that for you) and it's not an attempt to put forward a theory about "what really happened". It's just a story. 

Nevertheless, it's a fiction that's grounded in the specifics of the weekend of the Fire. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be posting up details on the choices made in Prospect's writing, as we get closer to the anniversary (the 349th) of the Great Fire of London, on 2nd September.

Some of this will be taken from the PhD work I did when writing Prospect  (the book was submitted as part of a creative writing doctorate I completed in 2013) and some from my working notes. Hopefully it'll be of some interest to those of you who like historical fiction, or perhaps who are interested in how a book gets put together.  


Start here: Part 1, and then there's this, and also this

And here's me being interviewed about the novel (skip forwards to 3m 45s).