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Martyr: Book summary and reviews of Martyr by Rory Clements

Martyr

by Rory Clements

Martyr by Rory Clements X
Martyr by Rory Clements
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  • Published May 2009
    400 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

In this ingenious debut, Rory Clements introduces John Shakespeare, Elizabethan England's most remarkable investigator, and delivers a tale of murder and conspiracy that succeeds brilliantly as both historical fiction and a crime thriller.

In a burnt-out house, one of Queen Elizabeth’s aristocratic cousins is found murdered, her young flesh marked with profane symbols. At the same time, a plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake, England's most famous sea warrior, is discovered—a plot which, if successful, could leave the country utterly defenseless against a Spanish invasion. It's 1587, the Queen’s reign is in jeopardy, and one man is charged with the desperate task of solving both cases: John Shakespeare. With the Spanish Armada poised to strike, Mary Queen of Scots awaiting execution, and the pikes above London Bridge decorated with the grim evidence of treachery, the country is in peril of being overwhelmed by fear and chaos.

Following a trail of illicit passions and family secrets, Shakespeare travels through an underworld of spies, sorcerers, whores, and theater people, among whom is his own younger brother, the struggling playwright, Will. Shadowed by his rival, the Queen's chief torturer, who employs his own methods of terror, Shakespeare begins to piece together a complex and breathtaking conspiracy whose implications are almost too horrific to contemplate. For a zealous and cunning killer is stalking England’s streets. And as Shakespeare threatens to reveal a madman’s shocking identity, he and the beautiful woman he desires come ever closer to becoming the next martyrs to a passion for murder and conspiracy whose terrifying consequences might still be felt today….

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [An] excellent debut…The characters, action and period detail are all solid." - Publishers Weekly.

"The quality of the writing; complexity of the plot; and vivid descriptions of torture, lasciviousness, and everyday treacherousness make for a compelling tale." - School Library Journal (Adult Books for High School Students)

"[L]onger than most historicals ... may turn off more traditional mystery readers. However, fans of historicals should be more than satisfied with the well-paced plot and complex story." - Library Journal

This information about Martyr was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rory Clements

Rory Clements is a former national newspaper journalist. He lives in Norfolk, England where he is working on his second John Shakespeare thriller, Revenger.

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