Thursday, August 13, 2015

L. C. Tyler, A Cruel Necessity

L. C. Tyler, A Cruel Necessity (2014)
Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN-13: 978-1472115034​

The first in what appears to be a projected series.  The protagonist/narrator is John Grey, who lives in a small Sussex village in the late 1600s, and has completed his studies at Cambridge.  He's ambivalent about moving to London and entering the chambers of a barrister, with the intention of becoming one.  And one night, as he's trying to get home (drunk), a mysterious horseman asks him for directions to the tavern, and throws him a shilling.  When he awakes and continues toward his home he finds a corpse, its throat cut.  What follows is an intrigue centering on Cromwell (who is aging and ill) and Charles Stuart, in exile in Bruges.  Who is a Royalist and who is a Republican?  (Grey's position, at least, is clear.)  Grey investigates the first murder, and subsequent events, albeit not very successfully (as presented, he is not the sharpest sword In the armory).  My favorite character name in the book is Ifnot Davies; you will have to read the book to find out the source of his name.  Well-written and the times are well-evoked.  If this is going to be a series, it's a good beginning.  ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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