Winner of the 2015 CWA Endeavour Dagger for Historical Fiction.
London, 1654. Oliver Cromwell is at the height of his power and has declared himself Lord Protector. Yet he has many enemies at home and abroad. London is a complex web of spies and merchants, priests and soldiers, exiles and assassins.
One of the web's most fearsome spiders is Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector. No one knows where Seeker comes from, who his family is, or even his real name. All that is known of him for certain is that he is utterly loyal to Cromwell and that nothing can be long hidden from him. In the city, coffeehouses are springing up, fashionable places where men may meet to plot and gossip. Suddenly they are ringing with news of a murder.
John Winter, hero of Cromwell's all-powerful army, is dead, and lawyer Elias Ellingworth is found standing over the bleeding body, clutching a knife. Yet despite the damning evidence, Seeker is not convinced of Ellingworth's guilt. He will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice - and Seeker knows better than any man where to search.
©2015 Shona MacLean (P)2016 WF Howes Ltd
The story is engaging and if I had read the book I think I would of enjoyed it more.
The narrators voice and monotone spoilt the story unfortunately.
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I was very much looking forward to this book as I love all SG MacLean books but the monotone, dreary, glum tone of the narration defeated me as I had to return it before depression set in. I will read the print version. Poor narration is inceasingly becoming a major spoiler for many of the books I've read recently. Come on Audible! There are plenty of excellent narrators out there.
No, great story, interesting characters - a dark and troubled time in British history, ripe for storytelling.
Plot and character development. I hope it'll make for a great series of books.
Awful. And I was so looking forward to the audible version of this book and its completely flat! He seems to speak in one breathy monotone which makes it incredibly dull. His character voices were also very limited (more breathy monotones).
Sadly no, read the book instead.
Please change the narrator for the sequel!!
The buildings, the rooms, the houses, the churches, the spaces, the alley ways, the printer's shop, the shoemaker's workshop. And most of all the coffee houses. The coffee house in the setting of 1650s London was to my mind an inspired choice to provide a catalyst to much of the action. Obviously primarily a male preserve.
Damian Seeker who had strong locus of control and was values-led though perhaps not quite at the Jeanie Deans level. Would he have walked from Edinburgh to London to save his brother from a hanging as Jeanie Deans did for her sister? Possibly. The Seeker often made decisions based on what was right rather than who was right.
Any scene in which 'High Highness' Oliver Cromwell was present.
I liked the narrator. Bit of a shock at first. Mr Camm was not Crawford Logan who read Maclean's first historical novel. But once I got into the timbre of his voice, I thought Mr Camm an apt choice. The main character, Damian Seeker is not a flag waving, arm circling animated character. Steady, deliberate, decisive. I think the narrator did a good job.
A man with a child in his ears - @ShutterSpin.
The Seeker begins with Nicholas Camm's narration setting the perfect tone as Shona MacLean's grim and tense 1650s London and its inhabitants are brought to life by the text. He gives our lead, Damian Seeker just the right sense of underlying calm and omnipresent threat. Taken with the text the experience of this audiobook is one of well-researched authenticity and complex plotting. The slight downside is that with a plot that isn't the fastest paced you'll ever read and the quietly deliberate narration I did find a slightly languid feel to the production at times.
The setting is a fairly unusual one; Cromwell's Commonwealth was a strange and brief period in our history. This story shows maturity in that we don't get the usual approach of making one of the sides the "good" side. In MacLean's telling we see a terribly divided land with a populace that are scared, confused and angry. Neither Parliament nor King deserving of any great plaudits. Given that my personal younger history involved some very enjoyable time in the Sealed Knot's Eastern Association within the Middlesex Trayned Bandes I'm delighted she has avoided the usual cliches of glorified Royalists and nasty dull Roundheads.
Attention is required at the start as the various characters are introduced. It did feel a little disjointed early on but once Damian Seeker gets into his considerable stride in the atmospheric London surroundings things pick up and a very satisfying mystery thriller unfolds even if it does rely a little on coincidence. Seeker proves to be a character of significant nuance and depth while retaining an aura of mystery. Taken as a whole this is a very enjoyable first book to the series with plenty of scope for further development.
The choice of a little explored period of English history which is brought vividly to life in the descriptions of mid 17th century London. The characters came to life as the plot unfolded with the enigmatic Damian Seeker the spider in the complex web of intrigue and deception.
The descriptions of London of the period.
I did find his narration rather artificial in intonation and rather breathless in places.However, I think some of the criticism is rather harsh.
It kept me hooked as I had to keep listening to find out what happened next.
I am really looking forward to the next episode.
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