Today you can order a real page turner called The Best of Men by Claire Letemendia. This is her debut book and it was ten years in the making. Beaumont her lead character is the James Bond of his time and this period piece is thrilling. The social and political detail are fascinating and the cipher theme has a historical echo of the Da Vinci Code. The book is intricate and detailed and has a huge cast list, but the writing is sharp and teleports the reader right back to 1642. As historical novels go, this is awesome and you really get to care about the characters, even some of the villains.
This book is highly recommended and some critics are comparing her work to CJ Sansom and Iain Pears. The UKs leading bookstore Waterstones voted The Best of Men as the New Talent Book of the Month.
It is 1642, and Laurence Beaumont has just returned to England after six long years fighting - and avoiding fighting - in the European Wars. Having fled his homeland to escape the responsibilities of his noble birthright, he has been a lowly infantryman, a spy, and a cardsharp in a Dutch brothel. He has seen the worst inhumanities visited on men, women and children by enemy and neighbour alike, and he no longer has faith in God, in causes, or much in humankind itself. Yet as the clashes between King Charles I and his mutinous Parliament come to a crisis and England is thrown into civil war, Beaumont is drawn back into the world of warfare and intrigue when he discovers coded letters outlining a plot to assassinate the king. Soon the conspirators - one of whom is among the most powerful men in the kingdom - are in hot pursuit, and he must find proof of their identities before they overtake him. Pressed into service by the Secretary of State's ruthless spymaster, Beaumont finds himself threatened on all sides, facing the possibility of imprisonment, torture or worse if he makes a single wrong step. The ravishing Isabella Savage, a practised seductress, is interested in helping, but may only lead him deeper into the conspiracies within the king's camp. And all the while, Beaumont is haunted by a prophecy and by the memory of a love betrayed. Vivid in its detail, filled with gripping action scenes, bawdy and smart, "The Best of Men" is a rousing, rich and thoroughly satisfying historical novel in the vein of Iain Pears' "An Instance of the Fingerpost" and the bestselling works of C.J. Sansom. Laurence Beaumont is an unforgettable new character, and Claire Letemendia is a dazzling new storyteller.
About the Author
Claire Letemendia was born and raised in Oxford and lives in Toronto. After completing a doctorate in Political Theory and lecturing for some years, she chose to pursue a career as a writer and editor. Since childhood she has been fascinated by the English Civil War. This novel, ten years in the making, is her first.
- First Edition First Printing
- Hardcover: 704 pages
- Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (2 Jul 2009)
- ISBN-10: 0224089374
- ISBN-13: 978-0224089371
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4.6 cm
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