‘The Seeker’ is Shona MacLean’s first book featuring Damien Seeker with more books planned for the series. The book is set in 1657. Seeker is a soldier and intelligence officer who is completely loyal to Oliver Cromwell. He will stop at nothing to hunt down Royalist spies who might threaten Cromwell’s Commonwealth. But, despite his one eyed and often brutal approach, I was completely in love with Damien Seeker by the end of the book.
1657 London was a dark and dangerous place. Since the execution of King Charles, the royalists have been plotting to have his exiled son on the throne. Cromwell can’t afford to allow open royalists. People must guard their speech and any published documents are censored.
Samuel Kent owns one of the newly fashionable London coffee houses where there is often loose talk among his customers. Elias Ellingworth, a radical young lawyer, is a regular customer at Kent’s coffee house until he is found leaning over the dead body of John Winter, holding the knife. John Winter was a lieutenant in Cromwell’s New Model Army, loyal to and loved by Cromwell. Ellingworth is sent to the tower from where he will be tried and hanged. But Seeker is not convinced of his guilt.
In the midst of foiling other royalist plots against Cromwell, Seeker works to find out the truth of John Winter’s murder. Typically of the times, nothing is quite the way it initially appears.
This was a very enjoyable book. The plot and many sub-plots were excellent and I enjoyed many of the characters. Damien Seeker, despite his gruff and focused exterior had a soft side. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him. The main female characters of the book were excellent. John Winter’s wife Anne was a royalist despite her marriage and even though she was not happily married, she spent the book trying to fulfill her husband’s dying wish. Elias Ellingworth’s sister Maria was a strong and independent woman. Samuel Kent’s niece Grace was also a fighter.
The cast of suspects and plotters is too long to list here but they were an excellent collection of characters.
I loved this book even though the start was a bit slow. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in Shona Maclean’s Damien Seeker series – ‘The Black Friar‘.
Book Published 2015