Saturday, 17 July 2021

πŸ“– Hist Fic Saturday ~ The Wrecking Storm by Michael Ward

On Hist Fic Saturday

Let's go back to....London, 1641

Sharpe Books
April 2021
Thomas Tallant #2

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book



The poisonous dispute pushing King Charles and Parliament towards Civil War is reaching the point of no return.

Law and order in the city are collapsing as Puritan radicals demand more concessions from the King. Bishops and lords are attacked in the streets as the Apprentice Boys run amok. Criminal gangs use the disorder to mask their activities while the people of London lock their doors and pray for deliverance.

No one is immune from the contagion. Two Jesuit priests are discovered in hiding and brutally executed - and soon the family of spice merchant Thomas Tallant is drawn into the spiral of violence. Tallant's home is ransacked, his warehouse raided and his sister seized by kidnappers

Thomas struggles to discover who is responsible, aided by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, a devotee of science, maths and tobacco in equal measure. Together they enter a murky world of court politics, street violence, secret codes and poisoned letters, and confront a vicious gang leader who will stop at nothing to satisfy his greed.

Can Elizabeth use her skills to unpick the mass of contradictory evidence before the Tallants are ruined – both as a business and a family?

And as the fight for London between King and Parliament hurtles to its dramatic conclusion, can the Tallants survive the personal and political maelstrom?

πŸ“– My thoughts..

In The Wrecking Storm we meet again with Thomas Tallant, and his companion, Elizabeth Seymour, as they try to make sense of the political dissent, and civil unrest, which is affecting London, and which will go on to have such devastating consequences for the country as a whole.

The year is 1641, law and order are a thing of the past, and as dangerous riots break out throughout the city the Tallant family are fighting their own particular battle. With their spice warehouse, and family home, the target for marauders, and trouble makers, the Tallants must do everything they can to protect themselves but finding out who is responsible for the attacks leaves them vulnerable to further danger.The mystery at the heart of the story adds extra excitement and keeps the momentum cranked up to high. 

The author writes well and certainly does a great deal of research in order to bring the seventeenth century world alive in the imagination. With fine attention to historical detail, The Wrecking Storm is every bit as good as the first book in the series and is quite possibly rather darker with more of a hint of danger. There is the chance to get to know some of the characters better, Thomas seems much stronger and more of his own man, and I especially enjoy reading of pipe smoking, Elizabeth Seymour, who could fill a book all on her own.

There is much to discover about the political turmoil in this momentous year before the outbreak of the English Civil War and the author does a great job of keeping the mystery of the plot concerning the Tallants running alongside what was going on during the Long Parliament. The only bit which I remember from history lessons at school was that on discovering that five key parliamentarians had fled the Commons was that King Charles I said "I see the birds have flown" so I was please to see this little gem tucked away in the narrative.

Whilst it is possible to read this second book as a standalone, I do think it would be helpful to read Rags of Time first as it introduces the main characters who feature so strongly in this continuation.  I am sure that we shall meet again with the Tallants as the country forges ahead with a war which will separate fathers from sons, and brothers from brothers, in the English Civil War.

About the Author

Writing has been central to Mike Ward’s professional life. On graduating from university he became a journalist, working in newspapers and for the BBC. He then went into journalism education, teaching and researching journalism practice before becoming head of the UK’s prestigious Journalism School at UCLan. For the last eight years he has run his own content creation company.

Twitter @mikewardmedia #TheWreckingStorm

1 comment:

  1. "Secret codes and poisoned letters" seems very exciting. Plus, it's a good idea to think of Puritans out of season.


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