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S. G. MacLean has a PhD in history from Aberdeen University, specializing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scottish history. She lives in Conon Bridge, Scotland with her husband and four children. The Devil's Recruit, her fourth novel, follows three highly acclaimed historical thrillers, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton, A Game of Sorrows and Crucible.
WINNER OF THE 2015 CWA ENDEAVOUR HISTORICAL DAGGER London, 1654. Oliver Cromwell is at the height of his power and has declared himself Lord Protector. Yet he has many enemies, at home and abroad. London is a complex web of spies and merchants, priests and soldiers, exiles and assassins. One of the web's most fearsome spiders is Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector. No one knows where Seeker comes from, who his family is, or even his real name. All that is known of him for certain is that he is utterly loyal to Cromwell, and that nothing can be long hidden from him. In the city, coffee houses are springing up, fashionable places where men may meet to plot and gossip. Suddenly they are ringing with news of a murder. John Winter, hero of Cromwell's all-powerful army, is dead, and the lawyer, Elias Ellingworth, found standing over the bleeding body, clutching a knife. Yet despite the damning evidence, Seeker is not convinced of Ellingworth's guilt. He will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice: and Seeker knows better than any man where to search.
Winner of the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2015. A complicated, thrilling tale with many threads all leading to a Royalist plot to assassinate Oliver Cromwell. Our hero, Damien Seeker, is the leader of a group of soldiers fiercely loyal to Cromwell and detailed to hunt Royalists. He is also a sympathetic, careful man, a great character. There is a lot of social history here, a lot of fascinating detail, all totally enthralling. It centres around a painting in a coffee house where opinionated folk meet. It is quite literally almost impossible to put down. Seeker himself is a man with a secret which adds to the thrill. A truly clever and absorbing book. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
1635, Aberdeen. A girl lies dead in a frozen garden. A young man goes missing after a drunken brawl. A sinister cloaked figure watches from the shadows. The missing student, son of a Highland chief, is in Alexander Seaton's class. When the young man's companion turns up bruised and bloodied, suspicion mounts that he has murdered his friend. But Alexander is convinced that there's another explanation. Drawn ever deeper into the mystery, Alexander realises that the man in the shadows is known to him and that the strange events in the town are linked to his own past.
Rebellion in the city, and a Royalist spy in his own ranks - Damian Seeker, Captain of Oliver Cromwell's guard, must eradicate both in this twisty, action-packed historical thriller for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and The Three Musketeers. 'MacLean skilfully weaves together the disparate threads of her plot to create a gripping tale of crime and sedition in an unsettled city' Sunday Times London, 1655, and Cromwell's regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell's Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power. In the east end of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars. Ill-informed rumours and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognises the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city. Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and individuals who are not what they seem...
WINNER OF THE 2019 CWA HISTORICAL DAGGER 'A gripping tale of crime and sedition' Sunday Times on The Black Friar 'The best historical crime novel of the year' Sunday Express on The Seeker Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the North York moors with details of the stringent new anti-Royalist laws, Seeker finds that what should be a routine visit will reveal a plot to rival anything in scheming London An invitation to dinner at the house of local businessman Matthew Pullan lifts the lid on the bubbling cauldron of grudges and resentment that is Faithly village. The local constable, drunk on the tiny bit of power he holds, using it to avenge old resentments. The hated lord of the manor, the last of a staunchly Royalist family who has managed to avoid suspicion of treachery - for now. The vicar on trial for his job and his home, accused of ungodly acts. And the Pullans themselves, proudly Puritan but disillusioned with Cromwell's government, respected and despised in Faithly in equal measure. The man for whom this unlikely gathering was organised - The Trier, the enforcer of Puritan morality for the local villages - hasn't shown up. And by the end of the night, on of those gathered around Matthew Pullan's table will be fatally poisoned. Seeker must find out the motive behind the death - mushroom misidentification, petty revenge, or part of a larger plot against Cromwell's government in the north? But who in Faithly, if anyone, can he trust? And when the most painful part of his past reappears after eleven years, will the Seeker meet his match?