Alan Warner, of Morvern Callar fame, heads back into Scottish history to the aftermath of the bruising Battle of Culloden, April 1746
NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR FROM HELL
by Alan Warner (Polygon £10, 128pp)
Alan Warner, of Morvern Callar fame, heads back into Scottish history to the aftermath of the bruising Battle of Culloden, April 1746, as Edward Charles Stuart — Bonnie Prince Charlie, Italian aristocrat and pretender to the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland — takes flight to the remote islands of the Hebrides.
Routed and rootless, dismayed at the sight of sacked crofts and butchered animals, but unable to connect the destruction with his own provocative presence in the country, Warner’s midge-bitten, melancholy Charlie is a wonderfully contradictory character.
By turns funny and furious, raucous and rueful, Warner unravels this story of abject failure with winning aplomb, as the Bonnie Prince dons the disguise of an ‘Irish hooley’ and bestrides the marshy, heathery ground in a skirt, philosophically musing on his lot while he waits for his rescue.
K.J. Maitland’s third Daniel Pursglove novel heads into familiarly dangerous territory
RIVERS OF TREASON
by K.J. Maitland (Headline £22, 432pp)
K.J. Maitland’s third Daniel Pursglove novel heads into familiarly dangerous territory.
As ever, dashing Daniel is caught up in a complex web of plots and counter-plots, including his on-going pursuit of the mysterious Gun Powder plotter Spero Pettinger, the thwarting of a further attempt on the life of King James at an elaborate royal masque and his own personal mission — revealing the identity of a ruthless killer who recreates the gallows mark that graces Daniel’s neck.
Brimful of malice, machinations and gruesome deaths, this is a shadowy novel of spies and double-agents, underworld brothel keepers and religious dissenters, where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted.
It makes for an exciting, conspiratorial read, even if the bigger picture remains as obscure to the reader as to the puzzled Pursglove.
Lenna Wickes is attempting to put aside scientific reasoning in favour of mysterious mediumship under the tutelage of the alluring Vaudeline D’Allaire
THE LONDON SÉANCE SOCIETY
by Sarah Penner (Legend £14.99, 288pp)
Lenna Wickes is attempting to put aside scientific reasoning in favour of mysterious mediumship under the tutelage of the alluring Vaudeline D’Allaire — a student-teacher relationship that seethes with sexual tension.
Renowned for her skill in channelling the spirits of murder victims so they can disclose the identity of their killers, Lenna is hoping that Vaudeline will discover the truth behind the violent deaths of her beloved younger sister, Evie, and also Mr M.Volckman, president of the London Séance Society — the last at the behest of the officious Mr. Morley, vice president of the Department of Spiritualism.
But as the story progresses, heading from a ruined chateau on the outskirts of Paris to London’s West End, Lenna and Vaudeline find themselves embroiled in a sinister, far-reaching scheme that threatens their safety, in this gloriously gothic, delightfully atmospheric slice of Victoriana.
Source: Read Full Article