SUMMARY – The 10-second review
Historic – 17C London – Highly readable/page turner – Political intrigue and murder mystery – Well written
The Wrecking Storm – A Thomas Tallant Mystery (Book 2) is another action-packed and gripping historical murder mystery.
Keeps up the breathless pace
The Wrecking Storm continues on from Rags of Time. The Civil War – which pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament – is brewing, there’s chaos in the streets and violence is erupting across the city.
While the impending war is central to the story, the narrative is focused on the Tarrants, the wealthy merchant family from Book 1, in particular Thomas, and his inamorata Elizabeth Seymour.
It’s an excellent follow-up, with the same sharp writing, structure and characterization of the first. It has the same sense of place and immediacy. Its pace is if anything even more exciting, with heart-stopping action scenes, such as the street riots or the siege of the Tallant warehouse. There’s also a murder mystery at the heart of the story, which blends in nicely with the historical backdrop.
I enjoyed Book 1 for it’s strong sense of time and place and the fact that even though the history and politics of the time are essential to the story, the book doesn’t get bogged down in – or bore the reader with – too much historical detail. This is historical fiction the way I like it, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time rather than stepped into a history book.
My only quibble with this book is that Elizabeth Seymour’s role is more peripheral than in Book 1. She’s the cleverer of the pair, and if anything the better detective, but the relationship between her and Thomas doesn’t really evolve. I’m not looking for romantic fiction, or indeed much romance at all, but I would have expected more progress on the Thomas/Elizabeth front. In some ways I would have preferred if she had been introduced in the first book only as a platonic friend, rather than setting up an expectation that isn’t fulfilled, or even necessary to the narrative.
Start with Book 1, Rags of Time
While you could read The Wrecking Storm as a standalone, it would be a pity. You’ll get an awful lot more out of it if you’ve already read Rags of Time.
My thanks to the author for giving me a free copy of this book. All my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, regardless of how I acquire the book.
The Wrecking Storm is available from all major booksellers.
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