Release Date: 16/02/12
Spring 1593. England is a powder keg of rumour and fear. Plague rages, famine is rife, the ageing Queen's couriers scheme: Elizabeth's Golden Age is truly tarnished. Meanwhile Spain watches and waits - and plots.
Into this turmoil a small cart clatters through the streets of London, carrying a deadly load. It is the first in a wave of horrific bombing attacks on the Dutch immigrant community that will change John Shakespeare's life for ever.
Driven on by cold rage, Shakespeare's investigations will take him from magnificent royal horseraces to the opulent chambers of Black Luce's brothel, from the theatrical underworld of Marlowe and Kyd to the pain-wracked torture cells of priest-hunter Richard Topcliffe, and from the elegant offices of master tactician Robert Cecil to the splintering timbers of an explosive encounter at sea.
As Shakespeare delves ever deeper, he uncovers intricate layers of mystery and deception that threaten the heart not only of the realm, but of all that he holds dear.
Historical Fiction is a genre that requires a great deal of preparation and whilst some of the facts within may seem like modern references, historically they’re accurate and correct for the times within. In this case, the emotional as well as political turmoil about foreigners taking English Homes as well as jobs (which reached its height during the Great Fire of London.) The book is adaptive, wonderfully creative and takes the reader on a wonderful journey throughout.
Add to this an author that believes in giving the reader not only a journey but solid prose and of course decent pace that matches the time. All in a great piece of fun and one that I really enjoyed.