By John Pilkington
Robert Hale - May 2002
ISBN: 0709070578 - HB
Historical Crime
1586, Berkshire Downs & London

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
Buy a US || UK Copy

If you are a fan of historical crime fiction as I am it is always a pleasure to read a novel that is the first in a new series as this book is, introducing the character of Thomas The Falconer. Thomas Finbow is falconer to Sir Robert Vicary and harbors a hidden love for his mistress the beautiful Lady Margaret. When Lady Margaret's unpopular brother Nathaniel is found dead, torn apart as if by a wild beast it at first appears to be an open-and-shut case when a wandering bearward and his bear is found. But when he discovers that the man was shot dead first Thomas is catapulted into having to find out whodunit, a task which is not easy as he is sent to London and soon finds himself caught in a seething web of secrets from his mistress's murky past and that of her strange family.

This novel reads like the first in the series as everybody has to be introduced and the whole seems a little stiff starting, like a car on a cold morning. There is a lot of promise her though and like that car once this series gets into its stride it will probably take off like a rocket. Pilkington knows his Elizabethan history and the reader will have no trouble picturing it all unfolding before their eyes with all the muck and majesty that was Tudor England. The plot is a little thin and could do with a few more twists and turns but it all shows promise and I look forward to finding out how Thomas The Falconer is going to fare in his next case.


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