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What to expect

From Rory Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, comes REVENGER, the second in his acclaimed bestselling John Shakespeare Elizabethan mystery series. ‘Does for Elizabeth’s reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII’s’ Sunday Times

1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply.

The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen’s long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex.

Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him – despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court – a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected.

When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger – but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?

(P)2011 Oakhill Publishing

Critics Review

  • Enjoyable, bloody and brutish.

  • A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine.

    Daily Mail
  • Clements can be seen as doing for Elizabeth’s reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII’s.

    Sunday Times
  • John Shakespeare is one of the great historical sleuths.

    Barry Forshaw
  • A colourful history lesson . . . exciting narrative twists.

    Sunday Telegraph
  • ‘Excellent . . . both a thriller and a history lesson . . . it succeeds on both literary and dramatic levels . . . It is an amazing book that combines detail of Tudor life and language with an exciting adventure story. Clements is obviously an enthusiastic scholar and manges to convey all the atmosphere and customs of the sixteenth century in a convincing action novel . . . The author has a masterly style that holds the attention and carries the story effortlessly forward . . . Clements’s second novel combines political intrigue in high places with the cruelty and depravity of the times. It is a successful formula and his third book will be eagerly awaited’

    Sunday Express

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