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S.G. MacLean

Författare till The Redemption of Alexander Seaton

13 verk 1,039 medlemmar 29 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Inkluderar namnen: S.G. MacLean, Shona MacLean


Verk av S.G. MacLean

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton (2008) 214 exemplar, 7 recensioner
The Seeker (2015) 155 exemplar, 4 recensioner
The Bookseller of Inverness (2022) 143 exemplar, 1 recension
Crucible of Secrets (2011) 95 exemplar, 3 recensioner
A Game of Sorrows (2010) 91 exemplar, 2 recensioner
The Black Friar (2016) 85 exemplar, 5 recensioner
Destroying Angel (2018) 63 exemplar, 2 recensioner
The Bear Pit (2019) 63 exemplar, 2 recensioner
The Devil's Recruit (2013) 52 exemplar
The House of Lamentations (2020) 45 exemplar, 2 recensioner
The Winter List (2023) 27 exemplar, 1 recension


Allmänna fakta



About on par with the first one; generally decent, but with a few lagging points.
JBD1 | 1 annan recension | Dec 22, 2023 |
This second outing of Damian Seeker, the enforcer for Oliver Cromwell's regime, opens a few months after the events of the first. Damian is called to the ruins of the monastery at Black Friars where a body dressed in a motheaten friar's robe has been found bricked up in a wall by someone demolishing the ruins. Despite the superstitions of his fellow Londoners, Seeker soon establishes that he is not dealing with a miraculous preservation but a recent corpse of someone walled up alive, and the body turns out to be that of a secret agent who worked for Seeker's own boss, Thurloe.

Seeker sets out to uncover the truth behind the man's murder - he was on the trail of forces hostile to Cromwell - and soon discovers that he was also investigating the disappearance of a number of teenagers. In the course of solving the twin problems Seeker is brought into conflict again with Anne Winter, the royalist noblewoman who was a main character in book 1, and with some unpleasant adherents of the Fifth Monarchist cult: formerly supporters of Cromwell but now turned against him because he does not march on Jerusalem as they demand - they believe in the imminent Second Coming of Christ and oppose Cromwell's taking of temporal power in England. He also has to deal with the power struggles within the government while Thurloe is ill, since Thurloe's deputy is competent but not strong enough to oppose the social climbing schemer at the Exchange who is trying to muscle into Thurloe's role, and incompetent greedy men have found roles through their family relationship to Cromwell.

In this book we see more of Seeker's character and his personal demons, with insight into his failed marriage and the reasons for his becoming a dedicated soldier and follower of Cromwell. Some other interesting characters are developed such as the real life Samuel Pepys and Andrew Marvell, the poet. The setting is well realised without becoming a textbook - I recently did not finish a novel by another writer set in this period which featured two step by step descriptions of how to load a musket. Here, when Seeker sees men performing musket drill he reflects briefly on how his painstaking and repeated practice of the twenty steps involved when he was training for the army was scorned by his comrades but saved his life when he had to perform the action for real in battle. It's enough to let the reader know it is a complex action difficult to do when under fire, and provides an insight into Seeker's own past - a way of dropping in just enough information, which I loved as such a contrast to that other book.

The solution to the puzzles was also well obscured and I didn't guess the answers. The only reason I've given this four stars is that it was a little long and lost a bit of momentum towards the end. But I will definitely seek out volume 3 in this series. In conclusion, a well deserved 4 star rating.
… (mer)
kitsune_reader | 4 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |
Thoroughly enjoyed this crime drama set in the period of the Commonwealth following the triumph of the Parliamentary faction in the English Civil War. It captures well the paranoia that must have been endemic especially in the big cities like Bath and the capital, London, with anyone who voiced the slightest criticism of the regime hauled off to a nasty fate.

The main plotline follows the attempt of Damian Seeker, high up in the Commonwealth's security/spy services to discover who murdered a key player in the regime. Along the way he also has to foil a Royalist plot or two and deal with the dissatisfactions of those who originally backed Parliament's cause but who now are disappointed with the result - only the bosses have changed, instead of the whole of society being made egalitarian.

The interweaving of the storylines of several characters is done very well. The only thing that held this back from being a 5-star read is that we don't fully get into the head of Seeker, a man who has a troubled past but who sometimes comes over as a rather colourless superhero, given his ability to best a professional soldier in a duel with little effort, for example. But a very interesting period of history to use for a crime fiction setting, and I will definitely follow up the sequels.
… (mer)
kitsune_reader | 3 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |
1660 and the Stuarts are restored to the throne. Despite initially pardoning many supporters of the Commonwealth, Charles II is hellbent on revenge against those who signed his father's death warrant. Also on this list is the name of Damian Seeker, falsely accused of being the axeman by L'Estrange, someone he had thwarted in the past. Seeker is in New England but his whereabouts are known by his daughter Manon and her husband, now living in York. Anne Winter meanwhile is charged to go to York to reassure L'Estrange of the innocence or guilt of another of his enemies and she stumbles across the plot to find Seeker.
I have loved the Seeker novels to date and was sad that the last one appeared to be the finale however Maclean has produced a story which is in essence a Seeker tale but one in which he only appears fleetingly at the end. Here the focus is on those left behind and it's a great tale. Set in a familiarly wintery York and introducing a cast of new additions, the story develops the characters of Faithly, Ingolby and Anne Winter in new directions. Just great historical fiction.
… (mer)
pluckedhighbrow | Sep 27, 2023 |



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