Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Headline
Release Date: December 2002
ISBN: 0747262683
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Read an Excerpt
Genre: Mystery / Historical Horror/Whodunit (1286 China)
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

The Plague Lord
By Paul Doherty  

Welcome back to the dark and dastardly world of Paul Doherty; a fell place where demons walk and foul murders are committed while virtuous folk endeavour to keep the peace. I've lost count of how many books Doherty has written, but every time he delivers the goods--and has created his own sub-genre of supernatural historical crime fiction. This time it is Marco Polo who is at the center of things and is staying as a long- term guest and employee of Kublai Khan in the exotic city of Cabaluc. But members of the Guild of Pourers, whose job it is to keep the city's streets clean, are being killed and word is spreading of a terrible demon that is stalking the land, summoned from Hell by human magicians from the Water Lily sect. This demon is the Plague Lord and will destroy the world with the diseases he spreads. It is up to Marco Polo and his two cohorts, the Buddhist nun Su-Ling and the Franciscan monk Brother Raphael, to sort things out.

     Stoke up the fire, draw the curtains and put your feet up in order to enjoy this delightfully spooky and robust tale of demons, death and disease in old China. The exotic and mannered lives of Kublai Khan's subjects are contrasted against the supernatural goings-on and as usual with Doherty there is plenty of blood, bodies and general mayhem, all told in an admirably brief novel. This isn't so much a whodunit as a horror story but apart from that perhaps there isn't anything very new in here except the Chinese setting. Comparisons can be drawn with his earlier horror novel The Rose Demon, as well as with most of this other novels (well, all right all of them) but if you are a Doherty fan and love his unique perspective on history, you will lap this up just as I did. Great stuff!

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