THE KINGíS EVIL by Edward Marston
Headline - 1999
ISBN: 074727584X Ė Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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Edward Marston has enchanted his readers with his well-researched tales of the Elizabethan theater and entertained them with his Domesday series; now he turns his attention to Restoration London.  Charming Christopher Redmayne is an architect with a lusty brother at court and a new job Ė to help rebuild London after the fire of 1666.  Jonathan Bale is a Puritan constable with adamant ideas about the King and an unenviable task that he does bravely and with a deep sense of justice.  It is inevitable that they will dislike each other on sight and this is exactly what happens.  But soon after Christopherís patron is murdered and the pair realizes that if they donít want the crime left unsolved they are going to have to do something about it themselves.

The tale kicks off with a succinct but graphic description of the fire and then Marstonís demonstrates his knack of creating lively and likeable characters, many of who are depicted in such a way as to be more to modern readersí tastes than they would have in fact been.  The plot is a more complex one than it at first appears but after the initial description of the fire I hoped that other descriptions would follow to the same standard but as with Marstonís Domesday series but this does happen. Although the characters are likeable (if bland) and the plot very entertaining the whole does not come to life in such three-dimensional form as it does in his Elizabethan novels.  I will be interested to see how it all develops as the series progresses.

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