London 1639, a wealthy man is killed in his field, seemingly attacked by falcons. An associate of his then dies is a bizarre incident at a dinner party. Both deaths imply the involvement of Thomas Tallant yet he knows he is innocent…
Rags of Time is an historical novel set during the lead up to the English Civil War. The historical backdrop of this story is the increasing divide and political tension between King Charles I and Parliament. I know a little about this aspect of history but enjoyed seeing how politics affected the working classes on the streets.
This is a slow burn of a book in terms of plot development. The first murder happens in the opening chapter but then the book shifts to Tom Tallant’s life and work. It took a while for me to like Tom. His dismissive attitude at the start of the book towards the woman he may have impregnated who subsequently died of plague didn’t endear him to me at all. Gradually he does show a softer side which makes him easier to like.
I had no idea how the book would unravel and the murders would be solved. Tom is obviously innocent but he has enemies who are determined to frame him. He has a developing relationship with Elizabeth Seymour and I’m interested to see how this progresses. Despite the historical angle, the characters had a distinctly modern feel. The ending is very dramatic and full of action as the plot strands merge and conclude.
Rags of Time is an enjoyable start to a new series of historical crime books.
Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.
A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.
But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.
Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.
Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.
In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.
Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?
And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?
Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.