Christopher 'Kit' Tyburn is home from a brutal war against the Spanish in Flanders. He is seeking a different life to the hell he lived before.
He becomes a player for the Earl of Worcester's Men and instead of fighting in battle, he now fights on a stage in front of an audience.
Due to the plague that is terrorising London, the Earl of Worcester's Men take to the road and tour the market-towns of the Midlands.
In Stratford-Upon-Avon, Tyburn comes to the aid of an eleven-year-old boy - William Shakespeare – who is being menacingly threatened by some vile thugs. But by helping the child, Tyburn accidentally intercepts a coded letter to a hidden Jesuit priest. Such a letter can only bring death. There are many who want it and if he is found with the letter in his possession then he will die a traitor’s death. There is only one thing he can do - he has to find the Jesuit priest before it is too late.
What did I think of the Story?
My favourite poet and playwright, without a shadow-of-a-doubt, is Shakespeare. I love reading interpretations about his life. Hamilton's description of Shakespeare was just what I would imagine him to have been like as child - intelligent, but always in trouble! Likewise, his portrayal of Stratford-Upon-Avon brought the town to life and, having been to Shakespeare home, his description of the house was spot on. It was real pleasure to read.
I really enjoyed the banter between the players. It reminded me of how the players act in the movie Shakespeare in Love - but instead of it being focused around a theater, the players are on 'tour.' The language of the players is pretty crude, but that is how I would imagine they would have spoken as well - they were all very believable. Hamilton must have had great fun writing about them.
The story itself was riveting. The plot was super engaging and there was always something going on. The story starts with a murder and then the action is non-stop. There was a great deal of mystery and intrigue, but there were many moments of humour as well romance.
I thought Hamilton portrayed life in Elizabethan England exceptionally well. He described the abject poverty and the deprivation of the poor, as well as the riches of the nobility - he touched upon one particular noble who was trying his very best to charm the Queen into marrying him! I thought Hamilton also gave a very real account of what it must have been like to be a Catholic during these troublesome times and he exposed the risks they took to practice their faith.
I really liked Tyburn. He is vividly portrayed and he is likable. Throughout the book I was on tenterhooks fearing he was going to get caught, because I so did not want him to die a traitors death.
There are many twists and turns in this tale - the last thing you will be with this book is bored!
Why don't you check it out today and experience the adventure for yourself!
About the author...
Dean Hamilton was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He spent the first half of his childhood chasing around the prairies and western Canada before relocating to Toronto, Ontario. He has three degrees (BA, MA & MBA), reads an unhealthy amount of history, works as a marketing professional by day and prowls the imaginary alleyways of the Elizabethan era in his off-hours. Much of his winter is spent hanging around hockey arenas and shouting at referees.
He is married, with a son, a dog, four cats and a turtle named Tortuga. THE JESUIT LETTER is his first novel of a planned series THE TYBURN FOLIOS.
THE JESUIT LETTER is a Short-List nominee for the Historic Novel Society (HNS) 2016 Indie Award.