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A scorching and beautifully written epic tale set in 1348, a time that sends a jagged screech of fingernails down the blackboard of history. Step away from the present into the midst of the Black Death, to overwhelming fear and confusion. The moated centre of one estate in Dorset appears to offer sanctuary, yet the treacherous play of human emotions wreaks havoc. I am a fan of Minette Walters, she has the ability to look behind and beyond the obvious, and she is eminently suited to this new genre. A lot of characters are introduced, yet there is no confusion, each was clear in my mind, known to me and vibrantly alive. The descriptions took me directly through the words and into this compelling story. ‘The Last Hours’ is the first of two novels, it quickly puts down roots and takes hold, ensuring a gripping, striking and remarkably readable tale.
June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands. In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future - including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Lady Anne's people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls? And how safe is anyone in Develish when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo..?
A staggeringly talented writer. Guardian
Wonderful and sweeping, with a fabulous sense of place and history. Kate Mosse on The Last Hours
An enthralling account of a calamitous time, and above all a wonderful testimony to the strength of the human spirit. I was caught from the first page. Julian Fellowes on The Last Hours
Atmosphere, imagination and narrative power of which few other writers are capable. The Times
A vividly-wrought and powerful story. With The Last Hours, Minette Walters has brought her impressive skill as a writer of psychological crime to create a dark and gripping depiction of Medieval England in the jaws of the Black Death. Elizabeth Fremantle on The Last Hours
A seductive writer with an imagination that makes her dangerous to know. Sunday Express
Walters's skill and subtlety in portraying the suffering and disarray of a feudal society in which disease rampages and God has seemingly gone mad is masterly. And, as with her bestselling suspense novels, the psychological drama is gripping. Elizabeth Buchan Daily Mail
Gripping and original. BBC History Magazine
Historical novels depend upon the writer's ability to create a credible past world and Walters manages this very well... This is an ideal read for those who just want a good story well told. Snuggle up in a chair on a cold winter night and enjoy. nudge-book.com
Publication date: 07/06/2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 02/11/2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||7th June 2018|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Exclusive Pre-Publication, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Historical fiction, Classic crime,|
Minette Walters is one of England’s best-selling crime writers. She is the author of twelve novels, winning the CWA John Creasey Award for the The Ice House, the Edgar Allan Poe Award in America for The Sculptress and two CWA Gold Daggers for The Scold’s Bridle and Fox Evil. She lives in Dorset with her husband and has been translated into thirty-six languages.Her fascination with the dark side of the human psyche began when she read Grimm’s Fairy Tales at seven years old. Her favourite characters were wicked stepmothers whose evil deeds led ...More About Minette Walters