‘The Redemption of Alexander Seaton’ is the first novel in Shona Maclean’s Alexander Seaton series of 4 novels.
The story is set in 1626 in Banff in North-East Scotland. England and Scotland are now united under a single king and Scotland is now firmly protestant but forever fearing an invasion from Catholic France or Spain.
Alexander Seaton had studied to be a minister, but at the very last step his past caught up with him and he was denounced by a powerful man. He is now teaching in a school and shunned by all but his closest friends. He feels incredible shame and guilt for the misdeed that cost him his future.
When returning from the Inn one night, Seaton sees a man stumbling in the street. He assumes that it is a drunk and ignores him. The next morning the man is found dead in Seaton’s classroom and Seaton’s friend Charles Thom is arrested for the murder. Seaton and his friend Doctor James Jaffray are determined to prove Charles’ innocence.
The complex plot takes us through more murder, spies and invasion plots, witch hunting, Catholic sympathisers, prostitutes, rapists and poisoners before we finally find the true murderer.
In a time of narrow-minded suspicion, Seaton and Jaffray along with a few others are the voice of reason in this complex investigation.
I found the story a bit difficult to get into at the beginning but very enjoyable once I worked out who the main characters were. Seaton was an excellent character and I’m looking forward to spending more time with him in future novels. There were also other brilliant characters, some who had a lot more depth than was at first apparent.
This was an excellent start to the series. The next novel in the series is – ‘A Game of Sorrows’.
Book Published 2008