From the author of THE LAST TEMPLAR, a third mystery in a series featuring Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Simon Puttock, set in a tin-mining community in fourteenth-century Devon.
When Peter Bruther, servant to the Beauscyr household, runs off up to Dartmoor to become a tin miner, the family are furious. They demand his return, and attempt to get the Bailiff of Lydford, Simon Puttock, involved in the dispute. But, due to old standing ancient laws, the Beauscyrs have no legal claim on their servant any more. As long as he is mining tin (which will of course eventually beneift the Kings armaments) he is exempt from normal laws.
Then, one morning, Peter Bruther's body is found hanging from a tree on the edge of an ancient woodland...
Cue the investigating team of Simon Puttock and his friend Sir Baldwin Furnshill. They must play games of diplomancy with the Beauscyr family and the mining community, especially the important landowner and mining magnate Thomas Smyth, who controls most of the mining that goes on, to try and stop the situation exploding. They must do this alongside their murder investigation. This task is difficult enough, but it becomes further complicated when an almost all-out war between the miners and landowners begins to rage up on the moor...
Excellent. For any fan of historical novels, i would reccomend this one unreservedly. It's Jeck's best book by far. The plot is absolutely fascinating and multi-layered. The examination of the complexities of English law is engrossing and incredibly interesting, and the tensions between the two groups of people are depicted excellently. As the situation escalates, Jecks manages to pile on a fair amount of suspense, too, which im not always used to in mostly leisurely historical mysteries.
The characters, and their oft antagonistic relationships with one another, are very well developed and interesting. The conclusion is exciting and action-filled, the atmosphere of the setting is drawn out brilliantly, and the final solution is satisfying. This book comes highly reccomended.