Plague Land

Plague Land

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor. Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by thePlague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate.
He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants.
Yet some things never change. Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.
Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it - by finding the real murderer - is quite a different matter.
Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife.
And then the body of another girl is found.
SD Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut.

Publisher: New York :, Pegasus Crime,, [2014]
Edition: First Pegasus Books hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781444785777
Branch Call Number: FIC SYK
Characteristics: 336 pages : illustration ; 24 cm

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c
Crpalace68
Dec 11, 2017

I liked this historical mystery. A good portrayal of this era and an intriguing mystery to solve.

h
hammondj
Oct 24, 2017

I thought it was excellent, on a par with Peter James,Peter Robinson or Bernard Cornwall. It had an authentic Kentish feel ,I should know because that 's where I was born! I didn't guess the ending and I enjoy mystery novels. The language was modern because it would be unintelligible written in the style of Chaucer unless you sat down with a handy history prof.
Many of the places mentioned are still standing and well worth visiting. Southern Kent is full of
historic sights, pubs, castles and not forgetting the occasional sheep.
I would give it full marks, five out of five, ten out of ten and 100%. IN short, I liked it!

f
finn75
Oct 04, 2015

Not a bad read but didn't have the medieval authenticity that I was hoping for.

t
titchieboyt
Aug 08, 2015

I started reading this (and it was easy to read - very readable I thought) but then as I was getting into it I kept thinking of the Hugh Grant character as the protagonist, because he was always trying to be funny!
Anyway, it was then I started to become bored, because this was not for real - that Lords of the manor surely did not act like this in them days. The language is modern-day setting, so I stopped reading this two-thirds through and jumped to the end of it, because I knew who did the murders anyway - and I was right!

g
gendeg
May 27, 2015

A Raymond Chandler type mystery set in plague-ravaged Europe? Sounded promising but it was ultimately riddled with formulaic writing and bad noir tropes. The writing came off as disjointed and out of its intended place/time. I like my historical fiction to feel grounded in the era it's set in. This one felt way too modern to my ears, a novel playing dress-up. The protagonist seemed almost 20th century in manners and perspective. I admit I gave up on it half way through. Perhaps it improves, but I just couldn't immerse myself in its world.

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