There is a dark tension about Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. This historical thriller/mystery is set in the radical community of Bristol at the end of the 18th century.
Lizzie Fawkes’ mother Julia is an iconic pamphleteer in the radical politics of the time, Lizzie moved from town to town with her mother and stepfather until they settled in Bristol where she met her husband John Diner Tredevant, a builder and developer. As the story unfolds, Lizzie’s husband and mother pull her in different directions while uncertainty gnaws at the reader.
The period and setting are fascinating, the dark tension is pervasive from early on and builds to a good climax but overall there was something contrived and unsatisfying about Birdcage Walk