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CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award, 2010

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781848547742

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 15th March 2012

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery / Historical Mysteries

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


'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
A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine.
Daily Mail
'The sights, sounds and smells of Elizabethan London are resurrected in Rory Clements's marvellous Revenger, in which intelligencer John Shakespeare (brother of you know who . . .) administers what can only be described as ruff justice'
Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
'Step into the world of Elizabethan intelligencer John Shakespeare and you put your very life in peril, whether it be by the blade, the rope or the rack . . . High adventure has never been more exciting, and a life-and-death shoot-out at a lonely Masham farm makes for a storming climax'
Northern Echo
'This is a substantial and satisfying novel . . . I love this book and it is a great successor to the first book. John Shakespeare is established as a swashbuckling hero of the first order and his family are becoming important to the story. I look forward to another tale of John Shakespeare'
'Revenger is a page-turning mix of mystery, political intrigue and adventure, as gripping as any modern-day thriller'
Keighley News
Praise for Martyr
'Clements has a real feel for the Elizabethan period...he understands the religious challenges and historical events that shaped 16th century politics and amidst it all he has devised a thrilling plot. An excellent start to a new series'
Lancashire Evening Post, Pam Norfolk
'A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next'
Sunday Express
'Beautifully done . . . alive and tremendously engrossing'
Daily Telegraph
A colourful history lesson . . . exciting narrative twists.
Sunday Telegraph
Enjoyable, bloody and brutish.
'An engrossing thriller'
Washington Post
'An excellent debut'
Publishers Weekly
'Captivates and carries one along through the strength of its plot and its intelligent main character'
Dallas Morning News
'The joy of this book is the way it interweaves commonly known history with the story. The atmosphere and attention to detail will commend this book to devotees of the period'
Clements can be seen as doing for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's.
Sunday Times
'There's plenty of thrills . . . the multiple plot elements are well-handled . . . there's much that's enjoyable and Clements' orchestration of the narrative is skillful'
'The best yet in Rory Clements' magnificent series about John Shakespeare . . . As always, the historical detail is fascinating and sometimes delightfully obscure . . . another sumptuous feast that will leave you sated - but craving for the next helping!
'I found this the best book in the series'
Historical Novels Review
Praise for Prince: 'A genuine page turner, and cleverly weaves in real historical events and personalities. Fans will not be disappointed'
Eastern Daily Press
'Intriguing . . . wonderfully graphic and descriptive. Clements richly deserves the accolade: "faster moving than C.J. Sansom'
'Clements' thrilling murder mysteries are a real cut above . . . steeped in authentic 16th-century politics, the plots are complex and clever, and the characters believable and engrossing. But his greatest gift is the ability to bring to life the squalor, intrigue and perils of Tudor London and amidst it all create a superbly tense and entertaining mystery. Roll on Mr Shakespeare's Act IV'
Lancashire Evening Post
'Blending fact with fiction Clements tells a rip-roaring yarn with vigour and energy and a huge enthusiasm for the period . . . a novel lacking neither action nor spice. An undeniably enjoyable and lively plot that gathers pace and excitement throughout. A devilishly good read'
Crime Time
John Shakespeare is one of the great historical sleuths.
Barry Forshaw
'This very well-plotted, erudite, historical mystery has many twists and turns which make for a very vivid story line. A very absorbing read with a real quality, similar in style but perhaps faster moving, than books by James Forrester or C.J. Sansom. I consider it one of the best books I've read this year. I will certainly look out for more stories by this very talented writer'
'What most impressed me was Clements' ability to set a fast-paced crime thriller in the London of 1593 and to make it entirely convincing. Clements gives life to this world, not just through years of painstaking research into all things Elizabethan - from cuisine to clothing, politics to borstals, autopsies to witchcraft - but through his use of real figures from history and the manipulation of actual events. What we end up with is a scenario that is believable, and perhaps this is what makes it such an enjoyable read. Whether intentionally or no, many of the topics dealt with in this book also still resonate today and it gives acts of terrorism, for example, a longer historical context'
Edinburgh Book Review
Praise for Martyr and Revenger: 'A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next'
Sunday Express
This is a historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine . . . atmospheric - the evocation of the filth and debauchery of London is quite exceptional - it demonstrates the compelling eye for detail and character that Bernard Cornwall so memorably brought to Rifleman Sharpe. I could not tear myself away, it is that good
Daily Mail