Winner of the 2015 CWA Endeavour Dagger for Historical Fiction.
London, 1654. Oliver Cromwell is at the height of his power and has declared himself Lord Protector. Yet he has many enemies, at home and abroad.
London is a complex web of spies and merchants, priests and soldiers, exiles and assassins. One of the web’s most fearsome spiders is Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector. No one knows where Seeker comes from, who his family is, or even his real name. All that is known of him for certain is that he is utterly loyal to Cromwell, and that nothing can be long hidden from him.
In the city, coffee houses are springing up, fashionable places where men may meet to plot and gossip. Suddenly they are ringing with news of a murder. John Winter, hero of Cromwell’s all-powerful army, is dead, and the lawyer, Elias Ellingworth, found standing over the bleeding body, clutching a knife.
Yet despite the damning evidence, Seeker is not convinced of Ellingworth’s guilt. He will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice: and Seeker knows better than any man where to search.
The contradictions and compromises of Cromwell's Proctectorate are rather brilliantly woven into the thrilling plot . . . If her next outing is as riveting as this one, she could challenge CJ Sansoms' Shardlake for dominion of the crowded historical crime niche.