Sacred Treason

"..any fan of the new-improved Historical thriller will be reaching for this book as an extremely competent and highly entertaining read."


On a cold December evening, herald William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms is disturbed when an acquaintance of his, Henry Machyn, arrives late at night after curfew. With him he brings a chronicle that he has spent years compiling, but which also holds a deadly secret – one that could rock the very foundations of the throne and the Protestant Queen.

As Machyn entrusts his chronicle to Clarenceux, the herald knows that he is not entirely happy with this arrangement. He knows that Machyn is running from desperate and evil men who will stop at nothing to gain and keep the Queen’s trust. And now Machyn has led those men straight to his door.

As Clarenceux’s house is torn apart for the chronicle and members of his household beaten and killed, the herald detained by Walsingham himself, he is determined to find out the secret within the binding of Machyn’s chronicle.

With the help of Machyn’s wife, Rebecca they will have to thwart the Queen’s army and Walsingham’s henchman, Crackenthorpe a ruthless and vile man. They will endure long arduous journeys in the driving rain and snow to uncover the secret that others will go to any lengths to hide and they will stare death in the face several times before finally gathering the pieces to reveal the truth of ‘The Chronicle’.

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Based on fact, historian Dr. Ian Mortimer, here using a pen name of James Forrester, has written an extremely exciting adventure in the Elizabethan era. As befits a historian, Forrester seems more than at home when describing the crowded narrow streets of London, the poor conditions of the roads and the vile sanitation of the River Thames. All through the book, you get a strong sense of the extreme cold people had to endure then and you are very glad that we have wonderful inventions nowadays like central heating. The poor folk of Britain must have been perpetually frozen during the winter months, giving rise to high mortality rates. The main topic that dominated Elizabeth’s reign, as well as Mary’s and their father, Henry, before them, was religion. This was the cause for much persecution, war, hatred, fear and double-dealing. Many a time was someone’s name given as a traitor or member of the opposite faith to the Monarch just to save their own skin. As Mary’s short reign was full of people being burnt at the stake for being Protestant, so Elizabeth’s was full of Catholics who plotted against their Protestant Queen. One shudders to think that Britain could have been so divided and such fear derive from something that should give people solace and hope. And so, it is these strands that dominate Sacred Treason. You can see Forrester has a passion for our heritage and you can literally taste the history on every page. Sacred Treason is very well written and Forrester gives his readers a great sense of place. The plot is well thought out and gripping and any fan of the new-improved Historical thriller will be reaching for this book as an extremely competent and highly entertaining read. I definitely look forward to reading the next book by this writer who knows how to entice his reader back to the 16th Century.

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