A first class, compelling debut for MacLean's new hero * Crime Review on The Seeker * MacLean achieves the balance of immersing her readers in a time and place without ever making them feel battered over the head by research, while the central mystery is satisfying and plausibly plotted * Highland News on The Seeker * The best historical crime novel of the year * Sunday Express on The Seeker * Brilliantly woven into a thrilling plot . . . MacLean's characters are subtle and convincing . . . could challenge C.J. Sansom for dominion of historical crime * Sunday Times on The Seeker * Damian Seeker really comes into his own in this novel . . . the plot navigates the waters of history with masterful effect -- Waterstones bookseller Damian Seeker [is] one of the most appealing heroes I've come across in quite some time . . . [the Commonwealth] is paid full service by S. G. MacLean, a fine writer with a terrific grasp of history and character * For Winter Nights * MacLean's light touch portrait of a hard man with a softer core is what makes these books so memorable * The Times * MacLean skilfully weaves together the disparate threads of her plot to create a gripping tale of crime and sedition in an unsettled city * Sunday Times * Excellent at conveying the insecurities and unsettling memories that bedevil Cromwell's dying Protectorate, the author brings a fresh perspective and gold-plated research to a period which has been unfairly eclipsed by the popularity of the Tudors * Daily Mail *. S.G. MacLean has a PhD in history from Aberdeen University, specializing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scottish history. She has written four highly acclaimed historical thrillers set in Scotland, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton (shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger), A Game of Sorrows, Crucible of Secrets and The Devil's Recruit, and a series of historical thrillers set in Oliver Cromwell's London. The first and third books in the series, The Seeker and Destroying Angel, have won the CWA Historical Dagger and the second, The Black Friar, was longlisted for the same award. S.G. MacLean is married with four children and lives in Conon Bridge, Scotland. Follow her on Instagram @iwritemybike2. Rebellion in the city, and a Royalist spy in his own ranks - Damian Seeker, Captain of Oliver Cromwell's guard, must eradicate both in this twisty, action-packed historical thriller for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and The Three Musketeers. 'MacLean skilfully weaves together the disparate threads of her plot to create a gripping tale of crime and sedition in an unsettled city' Sunday Times London, 1655, and Cromwell's regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell's Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power. In the east end of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars. Ill-informed rumours and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognises the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city. Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and individuals who are not what they seem...
Found the first "Seeker" book by accident and enjoyed it so much I had to read book two. The descriptions are so good you feel y Found the first "Seeker" book quite by accident and enjoyed it so much I had to read book two. The descriptions are so vivid you feel you are there,which is how a good book should be. Would highly recommend to all CJSansom fans. Hope there will be a book three.
Excellent historical whodunnit I read the first of this series, Seeker, last year and while I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next one I found it pretty hard going due to a labyrinthine plot, told from way too many different points of view, by a frankly bewildering array of characters from both sides of the royalist-parliament divide and all points in between. Happily, The Black Friar is much more coherent. Perhaps this is in part due to familiarity with some of the characters who appeared in the previous book. However, the author has cut way back on the scatter gun approach to POV and while there are several here they are all from characters who have a bearing on the main crime. There are subplots and tangents but there is also a satisfying linear progress towards solving the crime as Seeker goes about his business in splendidly drawn, mid 17th century London. Seeker is growing into a compelling and interesting protagonist and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series already.
I seek him everywhere! I can't get enough of charming yet cunning Damien Seeker! His broody work amongst the streets of London protecting Oliver Cromwell and the Parliament from traitors and criminals is page turning excitement. This is a stand alone novel, but if you had read 'The Seeker' (Maclean's first of this series) you can see the development of some of the previous characters and are familiar with the places mentioned where intrigue and gossip takes place - such as coffee houses and taverns. When a stonemason uncovers a black robed friar behind a bricked up wall, Seeker is concerned to discover this is one of his spies. What had he discovered and why was he killed? You learn a lot of interesting facts about Cromwell's England including the underground Royalist groups meeting and plotting to return Charles Stuart to the throne. Yet alongside these bigger issues which naturally determine Seeker's main investigations he uncovers distasteful human tragedy and cruelty which leads him into another web of deceit taking place amongst the murky lanes and houses of the capital. Great plot. Ending leaves intriguing loose ends that might cause a new direction for Damien Seeker. I do hope so!
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