BOOK REVIEW/BLOG TOUR: The Road to Newgate by Kate Braithwaite

Publication Date: July 16, 2018
Crooked Cat Books
Paperback and eBook; 280 Pages
Genre: Historical/Mystery


What price justice?

London 1678.

Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.

Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.

When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.

My Thoughts

With her latest novel Kate Braithewaite transports the reader to 17th century London during the reign of Charles II. The country is at peace until one man, Titus Oates, presents evidence to the Privy Council of a Catholic plot against the King. Once again neighbours view each other with suspicion and when the body of the missing Protestant magistrate, Sir Edmund Godfrey, is discovered, anti-Catholic tensions escalate.

Nathaniel Thompson, a writer of pamphlets and Licenser of the Presses, has doubts about Oates’ claims and is determined to expose the man as a fraud. Oates is a repugnant manipulator who is willing to sacrifice anyone for his cause. When Nathaniel is arrested and his family and friends threatened, he finally acknowledges just how dangerous his pursuit of Oates is but his conscience won't allow him to stop until the man is discredited.

Caught up in the public hysteria are the two main characters, Nathaniel and his young wife, Anne, only four months married when the story begins. The story is told mainly from their perspectives, interspersed with that of William, a friend and school teacher, later on. This gives a balanced view of the events taking place and how their opinions of Titus Oates, in particularly Anne's, change as more information of his past comes to light through Nathaniel's dogged search for the truth.

Anne is the perfect match for Nathaniel being intelligent, strong-willed and courageous. She defied her parents to marry Nathaniel and, as the story develops, even surprises her husband as to her strength of character when she is left to cope with a personal tragedy while he is imprisoned and when her path crosses that of the unpleasant Titus Oates.

Nathaniel, too, is a likeable character. His concern, apart from Titus Oates, is providing for Anne knowing what she has sacrificed to marry him. While on his news gathering forays around the city, his thoughts always return to Anne, who never complains of his long absences but draws him home like a magnet.

Although I knew of Titus Oates, the perjurer, and his connection to the Popish Plot, I was unaware of the finer details of this particular event in history until I read The Road to Newgate. Braithewaite does an excellent job of creating 17th century London and evoking the panic and uncertainty that ensued after Titus Oates made his claims. The courtroom scenes where Titus Oates defends his own case are particularly well done and will remain my favourite part of this novel.

The Road to Newgate was my introduction to the writing of Kate Braithwaite. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope she writes more in this style.

The Road to Newgate is available from Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Kate Braithwaite grew up in Edinburgh but has lived in various parts of the UK, in Canada and the US. Her first novel, CHARLATAN, was long-listed for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Novel Award in 2015. Her next book, THE ROAD TO NEWGATE was released on July 16, 2018.

Kate and her family live in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

For more information, please visit Kate's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday, January 10: Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Friday, January 11: Review at Passages to the Past
Monday, January 14: Guest Post at Short Book and Scribes
Tuesday, January 15: Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, January 16: Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, January 17: Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Friday, January 18: Features at The Writing Desk and What Is That Book About
Monday, January 21: Review at Bookish Rantings
Tuesday, January 22: Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, January 23: Interview at Passages to the Past
Friday, January 25: Reviews at Coffee and Ink and A Darn Good Read

Giveaway (US Residents Only)
During the Blog Tour a paperback copy of The Road to Newgate will be given away! Enter via the Gleam form here.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


  1. Thanks so much for your great review! I'm so glad you enjoyed The Road to Newgate!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

    1. It was a great read. Thank you for the invitation to join the blog tour.

  2. Kate contacted me about her upcoming book (about Nellie Bly), so I'm glad that people are enjoying this work of hers.