Saturday, 5 September 2020

Hist Fic Saturday ~ The House of Lamentations by S G MacLean

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Quercus
July 2020

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

Summer, 1658, and the Republic may finally be safe: the combined Stuart and Spanish forces have been heavily defeated by the English and French armies on the coast of Flanders, and the King's cause appears finished.

Yet one final, desperate throw of the dice is planned. And who can stop them if not Captain Damian Seeker?

The final gripping book in this acclaimed and award-winning series of historical thrillers. Will Seeker's legacy endure?


What did I think about it..

I’m rather late to the party with this series having read the first book, The Seeker, and now this final book in the series, having somehow completely missed the three books in the middle. However, as soon as I started to read The House of Lamentations I was immediately taken to the Flemish city of Bruges, a charming place I have visited a couple of times, and yet the Bruges I remember is nothing like as dangerous as its sixteenth century self. 

Set in the very final days of the Protectorate, Oliver Cromwell’s tight grip on England is failing and both sides of the political divide are out to get what they can for the ruler of their choice. Intelligencer, Damian Seeker is now firmly ensconced in Bruges, and is able to go about his clandestine business of spying on those Royalists who seek to put Charles Stuart on the English throne.

This is a gripping historical adventure and whilst I know it would have been much better to have followed the series from the beginning I didn’t feel as though I was floundering as the author does a great job of explaining the more important aspects of the back story. Once the action starts there is no room to wonder what happened last time, I enjoyed being of the moment with Seeker as he gets drawn into a rather dark murder/ mystery which may have long term ramifications for English political security.

I enjoyed very much getting to know the other characters who make up the supporting cast, and I especially liked Sister Janet at the convent, whose, stern demeanour, reminded me very much of the actor, Miriam Margolyes! It was also intriguing to meet the enigmatic Longfellow who enjoys an interesting card game with a certain, John Carpenter!

The House of Lamentations certainly brings everything to an exciting conclusion and I won’t say too much about what happens but I think regular readers will be happy with the way things play out in the wider scheme of the series. 

Tense, exciting and with never a dull moment The House of Lamentations entertains from start to finish.



About the Author

Shona MacLean was born in Inverness and grew up in the Scottish highlands where her parents were hoteliers. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Aberdeen. She lives on the Black Isle with her husband and four children.


Twitter @SGMacleanauthor #HouseofLamentations

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffa, Timmy and I appreciate your interest.