(The Tyburn Folios Book 2)
By Dean Hamilton
Kit Tyburn, ex-soldier turned play-actor and part-time intelligencer for the Queen’s spymaster Francis Walsingham, is back in London and adrift. Penniless, cut loose from both his playing troupe and his mercurial employer, Tyburn is hired to track down a missing gold-seller who has vanished, along with the monies needed for the completion of London’s first permanent theatre.
But London’s dark and fetid back-alleys hide deadly secrets, as Tyburn uncovers a more treacherous game – a war between two noble houses that pulls him into a murderous conflict on the streets, a deadly Spanish conspiracy and a twisted thief-lord chasing her vengeance.
“I know you have a talent for turning over rocks and setting everything under them running...”
Oh yes, Christopher Tyburn has a talent for making things run. That was why he worked part-time for spymaster Walsingham. In his other life, he is a play-actor for Worcester’s Men, but he has been away for too long, there is no place left for him on the stage.
James Burbage, however, might offer him employment, but not on the stage as Tyburn would prefer. Burbage is building a theatre, but his gold-seller has gone missing, along with Burbage’s money and papers. Without them, Burbage cannot build his theatre — his grand cathedral dedicated to the arts. If Tyburn can find the gold-seller along with the money, then that is worth at least 20 shillings.
However, as Tyburn begins to turn over the stones, he finds himself in the middle of a murderous war between two noble houses and tangled in the latest Spanish conspiracy. But, it is the vengeance of one woman that threatens to destroy them all.
From the capricious Channel wind to the seemingly lawless streets of Southwark, Thieves’ Castle (The Tyburn Folios #2) by Dean Hamilton is the highly anticipated sequel to the widely acclaimed The Jesuit Letter.
It has been a long wait for book #2 in The Tyburn Folios series, but it was certainly worth it. As rich and as vibrant in detail as any of Shakespeare’s plays, Thieves’ Castle has it all — warring houses, intrigues, violence, love, death, a spymaster, and a plot that will keep you up until late into the night while at the same time you sincerely hope that the story will never end. This is the kind of book that reminds me why Historical Fiction is my favourite genre.
I thought the characterisation of Christopher’ Kit’ Tyburn was wonderfully drawn. His story is tense, shamelessly compelling, and utterly captivating. I was not only thoroughly entertained by Hamilton’s depiction of Tyburn, but I was also wholly enchanted. Hamilton writes with imagination and a great sense of energy, which made this book absolutely irresistible from start to finish.
It is clear that Hamilton has painstakingly researched the era that this book is set in. He also seems to have an almost intimate knowledge of the people who lived during this time, and he writes seemingly effortlessly. Hamilton’s portrayal of James Burbage was simply divine, and it was exactly as I imagined him to be. All of the supporting characters, whether real or fictional, are given the same care and attention to detail as Tyburn, and although many come into the story and depart very quickly, we still get a sense of who they are and why they do what they did.
Hamilton's depiction of the backstreets of London and the theatre has to be commended. Hamilton spares no detail at the deprivation of areas such as Southwark. The depravity which seemed to run alongside the players and the theatre is immortalised in Hamilton’s crystalline prose and wonderful narrative.
Although this is the second book in the series, Thieves’ Castle stands very firmly on its own two feet and can be read comfortably as a standalone.
This novel is a real treat for lovers of Elizabethan historical fiction, but it would also appeal to those who like to read a tautly gripping historical thriller. Thieves’ Castle (The Tyburn Folios #2) will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Bernard Cornwell’s fabulous Fools and Mortals. I cannot wait to get my hands on book 3 of this not to be missed series.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.
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Dean Hamilton was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 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, and a small herd of cats.
He is the author of the gripping Elizabethan era thriller The Jesuit Letter. Thieves’ Castle is the second book in the Tyburn Folios series.