The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Andrew Taylor can certainly write. He knows how to research too. The end result is a novel well worth reading. Taylor also writes modern thrillers and he knows how to pare down a plot and make it full of surprises. There is a neat surprise right at the end of this novel.
'The Ashes of London' begins with London burning in the great fire of 1666. Soon we reading about the personal problems of James Marwood and Catherine Lovett and how they become entangled with King Charles II's hunt for the last of the regicides who killed his father.
There is plenty of good period detail but Taylor does err on the man's life as nasty brutish and short side of historical writers. I wish he had included a brief bibliography to help readers find out more about the Fifth Monarchists and the regicides. But there is enough in the novel to allow readers to understand what the Dissenters and regicides were up to.
My only problem was that the main characters are not likeable. Catherine is peculiar and James rather feeble and running scared of problems with his father and the Fifth Monarchists. It is understandable that James should be scared of the consequences, but he was bit of a drip at times.
Niggles apart Andrew Taylor writes a darned good historical mystery with a cracking climax and a great plot. Fans of the historical mystery genre would enjoy 'The Ashes of London'.
View all my reviews