The Black Friar
By S. G. MacLean
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 TimesLondon, 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...
Between Three Plagues
By Jaan Kross
Jaan Kross' first major novel dramatises the life of the renowned Livonian/Estonian Chronicler Balthasar Russow, whose Livonian Chronicle describes the effects of the Livonian War on the peasantry of what is now Estonia.For all his subsequent eminence, Russow was born the humble son of a peasant, and Between Three Plagues, chronicles his rise. As a boy, his thirst for knowledge is supported by his father, and good fortune allows him to study in various German universities, returning to Tallinn as a German-speaking clergyman. As Livonia continues to be used as a political football by the warring powers of Russia, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania, Russow continues to climb the slippery pole of power and influence. Like Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell, he is a diamond in the rough, a thoroughly modern man in an Early Modern world, achieving greatness through wit and learning alone.