📖 Excited to be hosting a stop on this blog tour today 📖
1 April 2021
Daniel Pursglove #1
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and Random Things Tours for the invitation to be part of the blog tour
The first in an exciting new series from an expert writer at the height of her powers.
Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep...
1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God’s vengeance. Others seek to take advantage. In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel’s skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds.
For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan’s lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy - and in pursuit of a killer.
📖 My Thoughts..
The Jacobean court of James I was a shadowy place. A place where plots, counter plots and political maneuverings flourished in dark corners, and for Robert Cecil, the king's spymaster, these plots continued to flourish in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot.
A year on from the Gunpowder Plot, Daniel Pursglove is condemned to die, and is languishing in Newgate Gaol, waiting for his turn to step upon the scaffold. However, an unexpected reprieve comes when he is summoned before Charles FitzAlan, an advisor to the King, who has a special mission for Pursglove, to travel to Bristol in order to rout out, Spero Pettingar, a remaining conspirator of the Gunpowder Plot, who has escaped justice.
When Pursglove arrives in Bristol, not only is the place whirling from the after effects of a tidal wave which has devastated the city but people are convinced that witches are responsible for this unearthly event. It is into this superstitious melting pot that Pursglove arrives, but suspicious of strangers, the people of Bristol do not take kindly to people meddling in their business, and soon Pursglove attracts the attention of some very dangerous individuals.
The Drowned City certainly gets this new series off to an atmospheric start, the opening chapter is particularly effective as it describes just how the tidal wave attacked Bristol clearing everything in its path. However, once Daniel Pursglove arrives on the scene, the story really starts to take off. Pursglove is an enigmatic protagonist, someone who keeps his secrets close, which places him in great danger, not just from those who believe witches are responsible for the mayhem inflected upon Bristol, but also his task to search out Spero Pettingar takes him into dangerous Jesuit territory.
This is beautifully written historical fiction with a strong sense of history and filled with an abundance of religious and superstitious dread. There is danger a plenty, and an immediate sense of time and place where everything feels so scarily realistic it's as if you are walking the troubled streets of Bristol in company with Daniel Pursglove as he goes about his dangerous, and clandestine, business.
The Drowned City certainly gets this new series off to an atmospheric and exciting start.
K J Maitland is an historical novelist, lecturer and teacher of Creative Writing, with over twenty books to her name. She grew up in Malta, which inspired her passion for history, and travelled and worked all over the world before settling in the United Kingdom. She has a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.