A gripping medieval historical crime thriller, from a brilliant new voice.
Book 2 in the gripping Oswald de Lacy series, , which can be read as a standalone, from 'the medieval CJ Sansom' (Jeffery Deaver)
The Black Death killed his father and brothers , making Oswald de Lacy Lord of Somershill Manor. It also killed many of his villagers, leaving fewer people to do more work.
So Oswald tries to use logic and patience to manage a struggling estate, a socially ambitious mother, an overbearing sister and a mutinous workforce.
Then a baby is found impaled on a thorn bush and people say they have seen a huge creature in the skies.
The Butcher Bird.
And now there is no room for common sense, no time for patience. If Oswald is to survive, he must find the truth behind a series of ever more brutal events.
From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the luxurious bedchambers of London, it is a journey full of danger, darkness and shocking revelations.
'The whodunnit aspect is neatly done, the family secrets and waspish relationships are intriguing, and humour and originality are abundant' Daily Mail
Comparisons to the master of historical crime, CJ Sansom, are inevitable and, in this case, justified. — The Times
The whodunnit aspect is neatly done, the family secrets and waspish relationships are intriguing, and humour and originality are abundant. — Daily Mail
Trouble, and its attendant duties, confront the reluctant young lord on nearly every page of this eventful, engrossing, informative mystery set in mid-14th-century Kent. — Wall Street Journal
Sykes establishes herself firmly as a major talent. — Publishers Weekly
Praise for PLAGUE LAND — :
There's a nice, cliché-free sharpness to Sykes' writing . . . that suggests a medieval Raymond Chandler at work, and there are no phony celebrations of the peasantry or earth-mothers thrusting herbal concoctions down grateful throats. Plenty of action and interesting characters, without intervention of the libertarian modern conscience that so often wrecks the medieval historical novel. — Independent
The medieval CJ Sansom — Jeffery Deaver
PLAGUE LAND is a fascinating historical crime novel about a world turned upside down, inhabited by a rich cast of characters. A terrific debut and a wonderful start to a brand-new series. — Antonia Hodgson, author of THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA
Sykes has really reset the bar for medieval mysteries . . . every clue brings with it unexpected twists and turns. When you think you know who the killer is, you're slapped with yet another surprise. — Medievalists
Sykes's debut provides everything a reader would want in a historical mystery: a gripping plot, vivid language, living and breathing characters, and an immersive depiction of the past. — Publisher's Weekly