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Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion; Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer to both Cromwell and Charles II, a mathematician, theologian and master spy; and Anthony Wood, the famous Oxford antiquary. Each one tells their version of what happened but only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099751816
ISBN-10: 009975181X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 36mm)
Pages: 704
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Sep-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This multilayered literary thriller is nothing short of superb. Four key characters relate the circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of a fellow of New College in 17th-century Oxford: the first, a dilettante Venetian gentleman, finds himself under suspicion in the close-knit academic community. What seems in his account to be a straightforward murder case turns out to be a national religious and political conspiracy. An entertaining and learned novel; comparisons with The Name of the Rose are justified. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Iain Pears

Iain Pears was born in Coventry in 1955. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, he has worked as a journalist, an art historian and a television consultant. He is the author of several highly praised detective novels, a book of art history, countless articles on artistic, financial and historical subjects, and The Dream of Scipio and Stone's Fall.

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