Book Reviews

The Turn of Midnight: The much anticipated second instalment to the bestselling novel The Last Hours by Minette Walters

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List Price: £6.64

 

Kindle Edition: Pages.

Published: 04 October 2018 by Allen & Unwin

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As the year 1349 approaches, the Black Death continues its devastating course across England. In Dorseteshire, the quarantined people of Develish question whether they are the only survivors. Guided by their beloved young mistress, Lady Anne, they wait, knowing that when their dwindling stores are finally gone they will have no choice but to leave. But where will they find safety in the desolate wasteland outside? One man has the courage to find out. Thaddeus Thurkell, a free-thinking, educated serf, strikes out in search of supplies and news. A compelling leader, he and his companions quickly throw off the shackles of serfdom and set their minds to ensuring Develish's future - and freedom for its people.But what use is freedom that cannot be gained lawfully? When Lady Anne and Thaddeus conceive an audacious plan to secure her people's independence, neither foresees the life-threatening struggle over power, money and religion that follows...

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Brilliant - Excellent Detail & Historical Research

This is the sequel to Minette Walters book "The Last Hours". If you haven't read "The Last Hours" then please stop reading this review & go & read that first. Although there is an exceptionally handy summary of the first book at the beginning of this one, it is no substitute for reading it in full. Minette Walters writes in great detail with well constructed three dimensional characters which need to be understood right from the beginning & not half way through.

Set in 1349 the Black Death has ravaged England and, indeed, Europe. Whole communities have been wiped out and villages laid to waste. Develish survived better than most and is starting to wonder what life still exists beyond their walls. Surprisingly reminiscent of the post-apocalypic books set in modern or future times. Thaddeus Thurkell and his team of young men set out to see what exists of the world beyond and what can be salvaged to improve the lot of the people of Devilish.

Unusually I find myself saying that this is a better book than the first. I should point out that I loved the first book and gave it a good solid 4 stars. It isn't often that a sequel is better than the original. In this case I think the improvement is the way that the author has built on the characters, surroundings and plot of the original. The groundwork was done well in the first book providing a sure footing for this one. I loved this book. The characters are very 3 dimensional and detailed. There are no issues in telling them apart - though again I do stress that you need to read the first book. The atmosphere and detailed description of the countryside and lives is excellent.

There is no doubt that the author has done extensive historical research. The detail of the day to day life, social structure and interaction between the classes make this book stand out as well researched. I would be quite happy to compare it with the work of Karen Maitland, an author whose  historical fiction I heartily recommend.

I should also point out that there is an excellent plot aswell! Plenty of intrigue, some plotting and a few twists.

The winter is, unfortunately, fast approaching. I can see this as being a perfect book to get your teeth into on a rainy night or weekend.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley

 
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