For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, REVENGER is the second in Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times
1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply.
The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen's long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex.
Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him - despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court - a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected.
When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger - but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?
Excellent . . . both a thriller and a history lesson . . . it succeeds on both literary and dramatic levels . . . It is an amazing book that combines detail of Tudor life and language with an exciting adventure story. Clements is obviously an enthusiastic scholar and manages to convey all the atmosphere and customs of the sixteenth century in a convincing action novel . . . The author has a masterly style that holds the attention and carries the story effortlessly forward . . . Clements's second novel combines political intrigue in high places with the cruelty and depravity of the times. It is a successful formula and his third book will be eagerly awaited - Sunday Express
A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine. Atmospheric . . . it demonstrates energy, elan, a fine ear for dialogue and a grasp for the intrigues of Elizabeth I's court. Clements also demonstrates the compelling eye for detail and character that Bernard Cornwell so memorably brought to Rifleman Sharpe . . . I could not tear myself away, it is that good - Daily Mail
The sights, sounds and smells of Elizabethan London are resurrected in Rory Clements's marvellous Revenger, in which intelligencer John Shakespeare (brother of you know who . . .) administers what can only be described as ruff justice - Daily Telegraph
Step into the world of Elizabethan intelligencer John Shakespeare and you put your very life in peril, whether it be by the blade, the rope or the rack . . . High adventure has never been more exciting, and a life-and-death shoot-out at a lonely Masham farm makes for a storming climax - Northern Echo
This is a substantial and satisfying novel . . . I love this book and it is a great successor to the first book. John Shakespeare is established as a swashbuckling hero of the first order and his family are becoming important to the story. I look forward to another tale of John Shakespeare - Crimesquad
Revenger is a page-turning mix of mystery, political intrigue and adventure, as gripping as any modern-day thriller - Keighley News
Rory Clements is the award-winning author of the John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. His six acclaimed novels, Martyr, Revenger, Prince, Traitor, The Heretics and The Queen's Man, follow Elizabeth's Intelligencer, John Shakespeare, brother to the playwright William, through the dark underworld of Tudor England as he unmasks the traitors and conspirators who plot against the Queen. Rory Clements won the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award in 2010 for Revenger, and has been shortlisted for CWA Awards for Martyr, Prince and The Heretics. A TV series is currently in development. Find out more at www.roryclements.co.uk