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Plague Land by S. D. Sykes

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The fourteenth century is widely believed to be a terrible time in which to live. Here, in 1350, the Black Death has left half the population dead, the fields empty and a novice monk in charge of a lord’s holding. A great time to set a murder mystery. Superstition is rife; the devil’s hand appears in everything. It is far easier to blame him for atrocities than seek a human culprit. This has an easy style which is a pleasure to read but the shadow of the plague hangs over everything, making all feel dark and sinister. I enjoyed it and I believe we can expect more.

If you like S. D. Sykes you might also like to read books by C C Humphreys, V.M. Whitworth and Ellis Peters.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Plague Land by S. D. Sykes

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.


'Plague Land is a gripping historical crime thriller, an engaging coming-of-age story and a richly textured evocation of 14th Century Kent. I was totally hooked.' -- Jake Woodhouse, author of The Amsterdam Quartet

About the Author

S. D. Sykes

SD Sykes lives in Kent with her family and various animals. She has done everything from professional dog-walking to co-founding her own successful business. She is a graduate from Manchester University and has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam. She attended the novel writing course at literary agents Curtis Brown where she was inspired to finish her first novel. She has also written for radio and has developed screenplays with Arts Council funding.

Author photo © Keeley Hoad Photography

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


S. D. Sykes

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