This weeks review is another that has been waiting a while for me to review it…
First up the Goodreads Blurb…
Gabriel Crowther’s family bought the Gretas’ land long ago and has since suffered its own bloody history. But the call of the tomb of the first Earl of Greta brings Crowther home again. Travelling with forthright Mrs Harriet Westerman, who is escaping her own tragedy, Crowther finds a town caught between new horrors and old.
I picked this book up as part of a three for £5 in The Works (a discount bookshop here in the UK), the cover and title grabbed me and the blurb looked intriguing, now here comes my gripe about this book no where does it explain that this is not a stand alone book or that it is the third book with these characters, if it had I would probably have not bought it.
As it stands I bought it and did enjoy it, and for the most part it is not necessary to have read the other two books to enjoy this however there are frequent references to the past adventures which tantalise and frustrate, though I am tempted to search them out it does feel a little like the book was dishonest in not making it explicit that there were other books that should be read first and I cannot now know if I do get them that the knowledge I have now from this book would not mar the reading of the previous ones.
The book itself is well written and the characters are engaging and realistic. The historical period is an interesting one and the counterplay between faith, science and magic provide intriguing plot twists and allow for contrast between the characters to be even more complex. The plot focuses on the personal lives of the characters while showing the wider political and historical context against which it takes place, at times it does seem slow in its development but somehow it works and builds to a dramatic climax.
I would love to give this five stars but the references to the previous encounters leave you feeling like you are missing part of the story so it has to be 4 out of 5 stars.