One man’s twisted crusade for justice and one woman’s race to stop him.
The year is 1645 and, like much of the country, the Civil War has riddled Essex with widows and death.
As social decorum decays, petty disputes turn to suspicion and frenzy.
Enter self-styled witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, a meticulous man aspiring to uphold order.
But, as the list of accusations and atrocities grows ever longer, his sister Alice senses something deeper is driving Matthew.
Something she must unravel before more innocents are sent to the noose.
So as the year draws to a close, I thought I’d share with you my top three picks out of the books reviewed on site over 2017.
Links to review pages can be found below (as mentioned in the video) but to avoid spoilers, best to have a watch before scrolling down!
“Without order, there is nothing at all.”
When one of Cromwell’s loyal captains is found murdered outside his chambers, radical lawyer Elias Ellingworth is blamed.
After all, already a known threat for his public criticisms of the State, he was found over the corpse holding the knife.
The case appears closed. But not to Damian Seeker, Cromwell’s most feared agent.
Believing that the murderer still sits free among the diverse customers at Samuel Kent’s coffee house, Seeker is in a race against time.
For he cannot see a corruption of justice and he will not watch a seemingly innocent man hang.
Based on actual events of a 1765 plot by French Mendicant friars.
Brothers Lucien and Emile, divided by their age, outwardly appear opposites.
And so, when coerced by French masters into a dangerous rescue mission, it’s unsurprising they react differently.
Lucien, young and unaware of the peril, is desperate to play hero and prove himself.
Emile, much older and more worldly, is far more reluctant but cannot miss a chance to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart – whose fate he fears and longs to learn of in equal measure.
Can the brothers overcome the insurmountable odds and save their friends or have they just been sent to their deaths?
Fend off the cold nights with this warming story of love, passion and artistry.
Escaping a sheltered country life after the death of her mother, Anna is desperate for the new freedoms she thinks London will provide.
But, strangled by strict society rules and prejudices, she soon finds herself longing for home and the simple peace of her drawing.
Meanwhile, after years of sacrifice and hard work, Henri is poised on the edge of becoming a freeman.
All he needs is to create one ‘master piece’ and he believes he’s found the artist to help him accomplish it.
But as their two lives become further entwined, can they escape the violence that has erupted onto the streets of Spitalfields with their love intact?
Amid a maelstrom of hate, betrayal and deprivation – learn what it is to be human.
As the 1960s start to unfold across Nigeria, there is a sense of new beginnings.
Ugwu lives in awe of his new liberal master – eccentric university lecturer, Odenigbo.
Olanna has rejected her rich parents’ hypocrisy to begin a new life in Nsukka as Odenigbo’s lover.
Englishman Richard, tired of the parties and pleasantries of old colonial Nigeria, feels his stuffy world implode when he meets Kainene, Olanna’s reticent twin.
But as political stability deteriorates, it’s time to learn what is worth forgiving and what is worth dying for.
Be careful what you wish for and more careful still what you promise.
Sorting through her late Aunt’s papers, Roz Acclam makes a startlingly discovery.
Everything she thought she knew about her family’s death was a lie.
As one deception turns to many, Roz seeks refuge in a new job in York.
But her solace quickly becomes a nightmare.
Increasingly pulled into a another woman’s life and time, Roz can feel her reality slipping away from her and the marriage she longs to save with it.
As their worlds continue to collide, and the secrets come spilling out, how can she stop the pain of the past poisoning the future she hopes for?