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Clements, Rory - 'Prince'
Paperback: 448 pages (Feb. 2012) Publisher: John Murray ISBN: 1848544286

John Shakespeare, brother of the famous actor, Will Shakespeare, lives in the waning years of Elizabeth I reign, a time of plots and counterplots involving England's arch enemy Spain. Also a time of great political upheaval as Elizabeth's court and ministers welcomes craftsmen and workman from the continent who are feeing Spain's long Catholic arm.

John works for Elizabeth's spy master, Cecil, as an intelligencer, routing out enemies of the state. When Christopher Marlowe is killed, John's instinct is that is was not due to self defence during a fight as is claimed, but rather that he was murdered.

An explosion happens at the Dutch Church and John is tasked to check out the powder mills around the Capital to ensure that the safety and security systems are effective. The secret of finding the plotters is to find their source of gunpowder. Then another explosion happens in the Dutch market and the effects are devastating and very close to home. John now has a very personal reason to find the bombers and his instinct is still telling him that it is linked to Christopher Marlowe's death.

Rabbie Bruce, working for the King of Scotland, the heir to the throne of England, is following John's every move, but who or what is he seeking?

This is the third novel in the series featuring John Shakespeare. I haven't read the others and this worked well as a stand-alone novel. I didn't feel that I was missing vital information about the main characters' back stories but equally do not think someone who had read the other novels would feel as if they were being given a lot of information they already knew.

PRINCE is a good read, well researched and believable. The feel of the times and living conditions is well described. Very pertinent to our present times when people who want to change the world to suit their view or for political aims, use innocents and bombs while hiding in the dark.

Read another review of PRINCE.

Susan White, England
April 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 27/04/2012 19:01