Crime Writers Association
Best British Novel
The National Centre For Writing
"With a keen sense of the drama of a provincial life whose physical and spiritual fabric is on the cusp of change, with the coming of railways and the publication of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, this is an original and compelling debut."
"Charman’s clever, elegantly constructed, utterly convincing debut paints an intimate picture of a community wondering about the killer in their midst..."
"This vivid historical drama, set in 19th-century Dorset, begins with suicide and murder before spiralling out to tell a dark tale of justice covered up."
"Charman allows readers to watch the repercussions of... events play out over several decades. It’s a demanding format to adopt in a first novel, but he makes skilful use of it."
THE SUNDAY TIMES
"As gripping as Hilary Mantel and as convincing as Sarah Perry, Crow Court achieves a rarity in historical fiction: it truly places you in the here and now of a world once removed. Time slips away and life – real life, with all its ugly faces and animalistic impulses – shines through. Debut novels shouldn’t be this perfectly formed."
"A gripping mystery, beautifully teased out over several decades, full of intrigue and ambiguity."
"This clever narrative is both page-turning and original - an innovative and beautifully-written historical novel that features an array of diverse characters and voices from its vividly-realised Dorset setting."
"There are so many wonderful parts to the book. The storm at sea is brilliant and the end is deeply moving... You keep thinking you know where he is going but then you are surprised. There is a warmth and humanity, an acceptance of the vagaries and challenges of life. Plus a great sense of period and place."
"A confident and exciting debut: exactly observed, densely textured and richly flavoured, Crow Court is throbbing with life."
"Historical fiction has an exciting new voice, a new star. Crow Court already looks, feels and smells like a classic."