- format: Kindle (Amazon)
- File Size: 3680 KB
- Print Length: 497 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (April 7, 2016)
- Publication Date: April 7, 2016
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B015DLTMXG
A CITY IN FLAMES
London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral – stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.
A WOMAN ON THE RUN
The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman, who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom.
A KILLER SEEKING REVENGE
When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster – and across the path of a killer with nothing to lose…
It is a while since I have read anything by Andrew Taylor (although there is plenty to choose from)
The Stuart Monarchy was restored in 1660 but things were far from easy for Charles II. There were plenty of opponents to the Restoration. Bubonic plague struck in 1665 and now in 1666 came a devastating fire. The King played a decisive role in fighting the fire, giving instructions to firefighters about blowing up buildings to slow the path of the fire, but there are other things to worry about too.
There is a plot to finish the work begun by the execution of Charles I, to prepare the way for King Jesus.
James Marwood's father, a Regicide himself, and a Fifth Monarchist, took his young son to the Banqueting House to witness the beheading of the king in 1649, and he has never forgotten what he saw. Marwood's father, now suffering dementia and in poor health, has been allowed to live in seclusion but there is always the threat of the past taking its retribution.
The story is told from two points of view: the first person narrative of James Marwood, working for a newspaper publisher, and a third person narrative which follows the story of Cat Lovett, also the child of a Fifth Monarchist. Her father is thought to be abroad having fled when the new King was crowned. The reader has the advantage of being able to meld the two stories.
The historical detail in the story is entrancing. Both James Marwood and Cat Lovett become connected with Master Hakesby, an elderly draughtsman who is working with Dr Wren, the architect and mathematician whom the King has appointed one of his Commissioners for the rebuilding of London. It is inevitable that their paths will cross.
My rating: 4.5
I've also read
THE BARRED WINDOW
4.4, THE JUDGEMENT OF STRANGERS
4.2, THE ANATOMY OF GHOSTS
4.5, THE OFFICE OF THE DEAD