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Plague Land

Plague Land

Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor. Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by thePlague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate.
He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants.
Yet some things never change. Oswald’s mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.
Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it – by finding the real murderer – is quite a different matter.
Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife.
And then the body of another girl is found.
SD Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut.

(P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

On Sale: 25th September 2014

Price: £19.99

ISBN-13: 9781444789669

Reviews

The medieval CJ Sansom
Jeffery Deaver
Sykes's damp, depopulated, miasmic Middle Ages is well evoked, making this an impressive debut with at least one sequel on the way.
The Herald, Scotland
A novel full of suspense and intrigue that will have you gripped.
Best magazine
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
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