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The Last Hours by Minette Walters
  

The Last Hours

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November 2017 Book of the Month

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. Liz Robinson

If you like Minette Walters you might also like to read books by Robert Goddard, Karin Fossum and Nicci French.

Synopsis

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

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...?

Reviews

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

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

A staggeringly talented writer. * Guardian *

A seductive writer with an imagination that makes her dangerous to know * Sunday Express *

Minette Walters is a master at building engrossing tales around a single, life-shattering event. * Washington Post *

Atmosphere, imagination and narrative power of which few other writers are capable * The Times *

About the Author

Minette Walters

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 to their inevitable doom. She likes to shock her readers by exploring the underbelly of so-called respectable society, writing compellingly realistic novels with a claustrophobic edge. When her characters turn on each other, it’s with a vengeance.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd November 2017

Author

Minette Walters

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Author's Website

www.minettewalters.co.uk/

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Publisher

Allen & Unwin

Format

Hardback
560 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books for Christmas
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites
Free Prize Draws

ISBN

9781760632137