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Destroying Angel

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'A gripping tale of crime and sedition' Sunday Times on The Black Friar 'The best historical crime novel of the year' Sunday Express on The Seeker Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the No 'A gripping tale of crime and sedition' Sunday Times on The Black Friar 'The best historical crime novel of the year' Sunday Express on The Seeker Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the North York moors with details of the stringent new anti-Royalist laws, Seeker finds that what should be a routine visit will reveal a plot to rival anything in scheming LondonAn invitation to dinner at the house of local businessman Matthew Pullan lifts the lid on the bubbling cauldron of grudges and resentment that is Faithly village. The local constable, drunk on the tiny bit of power he holds, using it to avenge old resentments. The hated lord of the manor, the last of a staunchly Royalist family who has managed to avoid suspicion of treachery - for now. The vicar on trial for his job and his home, accused of ungodly acts. And the Pullans themselves, proudly Puritan but disillusioned with Cromwell's government, respected and despised in Faithly in equal measure. The man for whom this unlikely gathering was organised - The Trier, the enforcer of Puritan morality for the local villages - hasn't shown up. And by the end of the night, on of those gathered around Matthew Pullan's table will be fatally poisoned.Seeker must find out the motive behind the death - mushroom misidentification, petty revenge, or part of a larger plot against Cromwell's government in the north? But who in Faithly, if anyone, can he trust? And when the most painful part of his past reappears after eleven years, will the Seeker meet his match?


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'A gripping tale of crime and sedition' Sunday Times on The Black Friar 'The best historical crime novel of the year' Sunday Express on The Seeker Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the No 'A gripping tale of crime and sedition' Sunday Times on The Black Friar 'The best historical crime novel of the year' Sunday Express on The Seeker Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the North York moors with details of the stringent new anti-Royalist laws, Seeker finds that what should be a routine visit will reveal a plot to rival anything in scheming LondonAn invitation to dinner at the house of local businessman Matthew Pullan lifts the lid on the bubbling cauldron of grudges and resentment that is Faithly village. The local constable, drunk on the tiny bit of power he holds, using it to avenge old resentments. The hated lord of the manor, the last of a staunchly Royalist family who has managed to avoid suspicion of treachery - for now. The vicar on trial for his job and his home, accused of ungodly acts. And the Pullans themselves, proudly Puritan but disillusioned with Cromwell's government, respected and despised in Faithly in equal measure. The man for whom this unlikely gathering was organised - The Trier, the enforcer of Puritan morality for the local villages - hasn't shown up. And by the end of the night, on of those gathered around Matthew Pullan's table will be fatally poisoned.Seeker must find out the motive behind the death - mushroom misidentification, petty revenge, or part of a larger plot against Cromwell's government in the north? But who in Faithly, if anyone, can he trust? And when the most painful part of his past reappears after eleven years, will the Seeker meet his match?

30 review for Destroying Angel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    It’s 1655, and the third in the ‘Seeker’ series sees Captain Damien Seeker, guard and protector of Oliver Cromwell, sent north from his home in London to work under York based Major General Lilburne. His orders are to enforce new anti royalist laws, and he finds himself in the village of Faithly on the North Yorkshire Moors. Faithly is a place of suspicion, secrets and rumours - where memories are long and grudges even longer! Seeker accepts an invitation to dinner at local businessman Matthew Pu It’s 1655, and the third in the ‘Seeker’ series sees Captain Damien Seeker, guard and protector of Oliver Cromwell, sent north from his home in London to work under York based Major General Lilburne. His orders are to enforce new anti royalist laws, and he finds himself in the village of Faithly on the North Yorkshire Moors. Faithly is a place of suspicion, secrets and rumours - where memories are long and grudges even longer! Seeker accepts an invitation to dinner at local businessman Matthew Pullan’s home, and discovers for himself just what a hotbed of simmering tensions the village of Faithly is. The local Constable exaggerates his power and uses it to avenge past slights - the Royalist lord of the manor is under suspicion for treachery- Faithly’s vicar is on trial for ungodly acts - and host Matthew Pullan and his family (though strict Puritans) are disillusioned with Cromwell and are loved and hated in equal measure within the village. However, this evening of dining will end with one of the guests being poisoned, and it falls to Seeker to discover who the killer is, and also whether the victim was actually the one for whom the poison was intended. The third in the series has lost none of it’s sheen, it’s so rich in its description of this period in history, and the brooding but magnificent North Yorkshire Moors provides a terrific backdrop. The author continues to develop the character of Captain Seeker, and though he’s a fearsome and forbidding man (especially to those who would oppose Cromwell ) he remains extremely charismatic to the reader. Seeker’s position ensures that he has many enemies, but those close to him, will, on occasion, see the real heart of the man. What can I say that I haven’t already said in previous reviews for the excellent ‘Seeker’ series? I just love it, and if you love historical fiction then ‘seek’ no further! * Thank you to Netgalley and Quercus books for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  2. 3 out of 5

    Paromjit

    I have adored this historical series, set in Cromwell's England featuring the much feared and respected Damian Seeker, right from the beginning and I love this latest installment. Seeker lives in London but is a man from the north with a troubled personal history. His wife, Felicity, left him for another man and took his daughter, Manon, and disappeared with her. It is 1655, Seeker, a prominent member of Cromwell's Guard, has been sent to York by Secretary Thurloe, working under Major-General Ro I have adored this historical series, set in Cromwell's England featuring the much feared and respected Damian Seeker, right from the beginning and I love this latest installment. Seeker lives in London but is a man from the north with a troubled personal history. His wife, Felicity, left him for another man and took his daughter, Manon, and disappeared with her. It is 1655, Seeker, a prominent member of Cromwell's Guard, has been sent to York by Secretary Thurloe, working under Major-General Robert Lilburne. Lilburne sends him to the small village of Faithly with details of the draconian new anti-Royalist laws presaging the rule of the Major-Generals. Faithly turns out to be a frothing hotbed of intrigue, plots, rumours, spite, bile, resentment and grudges. Upon being invited to dinner at the Puritan commissioner and local businessman Matthew Pullen's home, a young girl, Gwendolen, the subject of rumours that she is a witch, is fatally poisoned with all the symptoms of a deadly fungi, the destroying angel. The three ejectors of Faithly, particularly smith Abel Sharrock, are using their position of power to spread fear and lies. The trier, Caleb Turner, has been called to rule on the local vicar's apparent transgressions and ungodly acts at The Black Bull, heralding excitement and fear in equal measure. Seeker is additionally seeking information on Thomas Faithly, a staunch royalist who is suspected of having returned to England. His brother, Sir Edward Faithly, is the local JP, a man much despised, seen as cowardly in not fighting for the King, but for this reason has been left alone so far by the Parliamentarians. A little digging by Seeker reveals that Edward is in dire financial straits and is surprisingly being propped up financially by Matthew Pullen, who installed Lawrence Ingolby to manage his finances. As Seeker faces the toughest test of his skills and abilities, he wonders if Gwendolen's death was accidental, and the real target had been someone else. In this story of murder, in an England which has become a place for men of guile, Seeker is confronted by his past and all the dangers it brings with it. In this brilliant addition to this fantastic series, MacLean adds layers of depth to the enigmatic Damian Seeker, his background and traumatic history is revealed, his troubled sleep, and his desperation to find his daughter, Manon. The author shows a real talent for character development, making Seeker such a compelling central character, compassionate and fearsome, with a close circle of friends he can rely on. However, his enemies are numerous, ruthless, willing to use any lever to bring him down or do away with him. This is an atmospheric read, where the historical period is rich in descriptions and attitudes of the time. Simply superb and highly recommended. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Melanie (Mel's Bookland Adventures)

    I absolutely adore this series and was so happy when Quercus gave me an arc via Netgalley. So much of historical fiction seems to be centred on the Tudors or the Victorians, so how refreshing is it, that this series is set during Cromwell's doomed Commonwealth. Seeker is a Captain in the New Model Army, enforcing the Protectorate's ideals and hunting down royalist plots to bring the Stuarts back to the throne. Seeker is a wonderfully complex character. And once again in this book, we can see thi I absolutely adore this series and was so happy when Quercus gave me an arc via Netgalley. So much of historical fiction seems to be centred on the Tudors or the Victorians, so how refreshing is it, that this series is set during Cromwell's doomed Commonwealth. Seeker is a Captain in the New Model Army, enforcing the Protectorate's ideals and hunting down royalist plots to bring the Stuarts back to the throne. Seeker is a wonderfully complex character. And once again in this book, we can see this wonderfully, where his personal life and his job are brought to close for comfort. The setting in Yorkshire really comes alive, the historic detail is wonderful, but MacLean does not let her historian training derail her into writing a history, but instead she uses it to tell us a brilliant story of political plots, human depravity and deception. I highly recommend this series to everyone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This is such a good series and I think I have a bit of a crush on Damian Seeker as he goes about Cromwell's business during the rather unhappy period of the 1650s' Commonwealth. This time, trouble takes him to the north Yorkshire moors and, not surprisingly for Seeker, it soon becomes personal. I really enjoyed this, especially the first half, with its fine historical detail and moody atmosphere, helped along here with the wonderful location. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Unseen Library

    I received a copy of Destroying Angel from Hachette Australia to review. Destroying Angel is a fantastic and incredibly enjoyable novel that serves as an outstanding and powerful new addition to MacLean’s Captain Seeker series, combining several captivating mysteries with an outstanding and rarely utilised historical setting. Readers will find so much to love about this book, which is historical murder mystery at its very best. It is 1655, a time of great change for England. Oliver Crowell’s force I received a copy of Destroying Angel from Hachette Australia to review. Destroying Angel is a fantastic and incredibly enjoyable novel that serves as an outstanding and powerful new addition to MacLean’s Captain Seeker series, combining several captivating mysteries with an outstanding and rarely utilised historical setting. Readers will find so much to love about this book, which is historical murder mystery at its very best. It is 1655, a time of great change for England. Oliver Crowell’s forces have cleared the Royalist armies from England, and exiled the King and his court to the continent. The country is now in the grip of Puritan morals and the rule of Cromwell’s major-generals. In York, Captain Damian Seeker of Cromwell’s army is responsible for hunting down Royalist elements hiding within the country and quelling dissent against the new regime. His latest mission requires him to journey to the small village of Faithly on the Yorkshire moors to deliver the government’s new laws and ordinances and inspect the area for traitors. In addition, a fugitive member of the King’s exiled court may have returned to his family estates near Faithly, and Seeker is charged with searching the village and the surrounding countryside. Click link for full review: https://unseenlibrary.com/2018/08/02/... An abridged version of this review ran in the Canberra Weekly on 2 August 2018: https://unseenlibrary.com/2018/08/02/... Or visit my blog at: https://unseenlibrary.com/

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daphne Sharpe

    This series continues to bring the Protectorate government of England and Captain Damien Seeker together,as Seeker is sent to Yorkshire to present details of new anti- Royalist laws and taxation system to Faithly,a small village,that appears to be a hot bed of resentment,intrigue and talk of witchcraft. When Damien is invited to the house of Matthew Pullen,the local Puritan commissioner,a young girl,Gwendolen,is fatally poisoned with the fungus Destroying Angel. A trier is in town to prosecute th This series continues to bring the Protectorate government of England and Captain Damien Seeker together,as Seeker is sent to Yorkshire to present details of new anti- Royalist laws and taxation system to Faithly,a small village,that appears to be a hot bed of resentment,intrigue and talk of witchcraft. When Damien is invited to the house of Matthew Pullen,the local Puritan commissioner,a young girl,Gwendolen,is fatally poisoned with the fungus Destroying Angel. A trier is in town to prosecute the local vicar,and Damien recognises him as an old enemy. Caleb Turner was previously known as Hungerford,who stole Damien's wife from him,and she took his daughter as well. Damien has to try to find his daughter,Manon,try to find out who is responsible for the murder of Gwendolen and search out those who are disloyal to Cromwell,and want to see Bonnie Prince Charlie on the throne. This book becomes deeply personal for Damien as his past threatens both his future happiness,and any prospect of being reunited with Manon. It is a very descriptive read,full of historical detail of the time,and conveys a real sense of danger. This series shows no signs of flagging, the freshness and complexity of the story is marvellous. Damien has shown more of his troubled personality in this chapter,and he relies more heavily upon loyal friends this time,even though they don't always feel appreciated. It is a heavily atmospheric read and a real page turner. I am so enjoying this series!

  7. 3 out of 5

    David Grieve

    Third in the series of Seeker novels set in 1655 during the English protectorate. Damian Seeker, fixer for Cromwell's commonwealth has been sent north to York, back to his roots and away from the ususal London setting. Again the atmosphere and sense of historical place is superb and you can almost feel the cold, grey mist swirling down from the moors into Faithly, the village where most of the story is set. The tale itself is gripping with plenty of twists and turns and backstories to assimilate Third in the series of Seeker novels set in 1655 during the English protectorate. Damian Seeker, fixer for Cromwell's commonwealth has been sent north to York, back to his roots and away from the ususal London setting. Again the atmosphere and sense of historical place is superb and you can almost feel the cold, grey mist swirling down from the moors into Faithly, the village where most of the story is set. The tale itself is gripping with plenty of twists and turns and backstories to assimilate and the character of Seeker continues to develop. We see a little more of the human side of his nature in this story and the more rounded character is bothmore appealing and more believable. For me, this is the best historial fiction series I have read and I am looking forward to the next installment.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    Having read the previous two books in this series and thoroughly enjoyed them, I am grateful to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. It would have been all too easy to read this book in one straight sitting; it really is one of those books that is hard to put down. Part of the fascination comes from the struggle Damian Seeker has between upholding the Protectorate and its harsh values and his own inherent compassion and decency. The author has created a truly fascinating character. The di Having read the previous two books in this series and thoroughly enjoyed them, I am grateful to Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. It would have been all too easy to read this book in one straight sitting; it really is one of those books that is hard to put down. Part of the fascination comes from the struggle Damian Seeker has between upholding the Protectorate and its harsh values and his own inherent compassion and decency. The author has created a truly fascinating character. The different elements of the book meld together in a very satisfying way. The depiction of the paranoia and fear set up by the 'Trier' and his court is particularly chilling and believable. Damian Seeker has been sent North to York and as a result has to face his past. The outcome is that on returning to London and his work for spymaster Thomas Thurloe, he has a new and very precious secret.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    Even if I'm in the mood for light and summer reading once I started this book i couldn't put it down. It's huge, a wonderful historical mystery with great characters and a great reconstruction of the historical setting. I loved the main character so human and so well written and I loved the way the cast of characters was written. The storytelling is great and it makes you feel like you're there in the same space/time with the characters. A great discovery that makes me wish to read the other book in Even if I'm in the mood for light and summer reading once I started this book i couldn't put it down. It's huge, a wonderful historical mystery with great characters and a great reconstruction of the historical setting. I loved the main character so human and so well written and I loved the way the cast of characters was written. The storytelling is great and it makes you feel like you're there in the same space/time with the characters. A great discovery that makes me wish to read the other book in this series. Highly recommeded! Many thanks to Quercus Books and Netgalley for this ARC

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Gourlay

    I love this series and it gets better and better. This time we move up North and we find out more about Seeker's mysterious past. What a fantastic character - deep, mysterious , principled - I have a crush Moodily atmospheric, tightly plotted, great sense of time and place, developing characters A complete page turner More please.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Seeker is in Yorkshire, not far from York, on the trail of disappearing Royalists. He is in the village of Faithly when a young girl dies horribly from poisoning as well as an old adversary turning up. Seeker's investigations bring him some joy as he is reunited with family but also plenty of peril as he tries to figure out what's happening on the edge of the moors.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Andrew Hanna

    Seeker First class! Thoroughly enjoyed this well crafted intricate story The characters are complex and well developed with a true feel for this somewhat difficult period of English history. I sincerely hope that there is more to come. Congratulations and well done to the author

  13. 4 out of 5

    Simon Barton

    Shona writes bloody excellent historical fiction both in this series and in the Seaton series. Can throughly recommend

  14. 3 out of 5

    Christine Teanby

  15. 3 out of 5

    mrs m a l lewis

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sue Venn

  17. 3 out of 5

    E MacPhee

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Kerr

  19. 3 out of 5

    Jane

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

  21. 5 out of 5

    Esther Strickland

  22. 3 out of 5

    Kerry Herivel

  23. 3 out of 5

    Roger

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  25. 4 out of 5

    Neil Davidson

  26. 3 out of 5

    Kenneth Moffat

  27. 5 out of 5

    simon smith

  28. 3 out of 5

    j cadman

  29. 5 out of 5

    George M Cockburn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Wilson

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