Christmas, 1669. In the grip of the coldest winter for years, the River Thames is frozen from bank to bank and London celebrates with a traditional frost fair held on its broad back. Revellers come from far and wide to enjoy the spectacle. Among the throng is ambitious young architect Christopher Redmayne. By chance he meets a good friend, Constable Jonathan Bale, attending with his family. As the adults talk, Bale s sons skate around them. But their competitive nature spells trouble onto thin ice and is in danger of crashing into the freezing water below. Christopher and Jonathan save the boy but make a chilling discovery the frozen corpse of a naked man embedded in the ice. Bale vows to investigate but Christopher sees no reason to involve himself further until his own brother Henry is accused of the murder and thrown in jail. Now Henry faces execution if Christopher cannot prove his innocence. The architect must risk all he holds dear, both professionally and personally, to uncover the truth."
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(178mm x 111mm x 27mm)
Allison & Busby
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Edward Marston is well known for his atmospheric crime novels, and this is perhaps his most accomplished and richly detailed book yet. The novel is set in the terrible winter of 1669, when London ignores such hardships as a frozen Thames by celebrating Christmas with a traditional 'Frost Fair' on the banks of the river. Amidst the carousing throng is a talented young architect who is escorting the daughter of one of his clients. The architect, Christopher, has romantic designs on the delightful Susan, and he's further pleased to encounter his friend Constable Jonathan Bale, who is also there with his family. But while saving a boy from a freezing death in the river Christopher and Jonathan discover a frozen cadaver underneath the ice. The corpse is that of an Italian fencing master, and despite Christopher's best efforts, he finds himself further embroiled in the mystery when his brother Henry is accused of the murder. As in all Edward Marston's previous books, there is an assiduously maintained balance between authentic period detail and lively, intelligent characterization. When so much historical crime seems to be dispatched by rote these days, it's refreshing to encounter a writer like Marston, who never gives less than his best. (Kirkus UK)
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