A gripping historical thriller from the CWA award-winning author of The Seeker - a must-read for fans of CJ Sansom and Rory Clements
'One of the best writers of historical crime' The Times
Aberdeen, 1631. University librarian Robert Sim takes receipt of a gift of books recently arrived from overseas, mysterious works on alchemy and hermetics - the pursuit of ancient knowledge. By nightfall he has been brutally murdered.
His colleague and good friend Alexander Seaton is left with the task of hunting for clues as to his killer's motive, as well as locating the missing books. What did Sim discover in the package, and what makes these books so dangerous?
The period detail is excellent; the Aberdeen of the time is richly imagined, and the dialogue is terrifically subtle. The characterisation too is accomplished with both major and minor characters clearly and enjoyably distinct - Historical Novels Review
Seaton is a compellingly flawed yet indomitable figure who inspires our respect, pity and empathy in equal measure ... Crucible of Secrets is a yarn that romps along at breakneck speed ... What is perhaps more admirable is her ability to paint effervescently vivid historical pictures that immediately bring the period to life - Scottish Field
Admirers of MacLean's earlier novels will not be disappointed by the latest appearance of her Scottish sleuth. Newcomers to the series be warned! You will find yourselves plunged into the claustrophobic society of 17th century Aberdeen, where fear stalks the corridors of academia and student battles besmirch the public beach ... Crucible of Secrets has a satisfying plot, but more importantly it has satisfying characters and a setting that educates as well as entertains. - Shotsmag
S.G. MacLean has a PhD in history from Aberdeen University, specializing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scottish history. She has written four highly acclaimed historical thrillers set in Scotland, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton (shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger), A Game of Sorrows, Crucible of Secrets and The Devil's Recruit, and a series of historical thrillers set in Oliver Cromwell's London. The first and third books in the series, The Seeker and Destroying Angel, have won the CWA Historical Dagger and the second, The Black Friar, was longlisted for the same award. S.G. MacLean is married with four children and lives in Conon Bridge, Scotland. Follow her on Instagram @iwritemybike2