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Summary

From the No.1 Sunday Times best-selling author of The Ashes of London comes the next book in the phenomenally successful series following James Marwood and Cat Lovett.

A dangerous secret lies beneath Whitehall Palace.

Brother against brother. Father against son. Friends turned into enemies. No one in England wants a return to the bloody days of the Civil War. But Oliver Cromwell’s son, Richard, has abandoned his exile and slipped back into England. The consequences could be catastrophic.

James Marwood, a traitor’s son turned government agent, is tasked with uncovering Cromwell’s motives. But his assignment is complicated by his friend - the regicide’s daughter, Cat Lovett - who knew the Cromwells as a child and who now seems to be hiding a secret of her own about the family.

Both Marwood and Cat know they are putting themselves in great danger. And when they find themselves on a top secret mission in the Palace of Whitehall, they realise they are risking their lives...and could even be sent to the block for treason.

©2020 Andrew Taylor (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Boasting political intrigue and evocative period atmosphere, The Last Protector is crime writing at its most elegant and assured." (Waterstones blog)

"One of the best historical crime writers today." (The Times)

"Confirms his status as one of our finest writers of historical thrillers." (The Sunday Times)

What listeners say about The Last Protector

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Riveting historical fiction

I jumped into this book without reading the first, so perhaps I'm late to the party here. I've read all types of historical fiction, but I have to say this one felt the most authentic. London is beautifully rendered, and as a Londoner it's informative to know what was there in the mid 17th century. Equally, Taylor's knowledge of social form and function is highly detailed and is a driving force for the book itself. The characters are believable, wretched, malevolent and flawed. If I'm being critical, I think the book peters out toward the end, with villains vanquished rather out of nowhere, and I think it's possible that Taylor could have been a bit more liberal with his fiction, it was a little too closely connected to the actual history. But in any case - I highly recommend this book as one which is entertaining but also educating. Good job.

3 people found this helpful

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A series worth listening too

I'm not an historical novel buff, but I happened on the start of this series in a library app, and have now heard all 4. During each one, I've been engaged not only by the story, but also the historical detail, which in turn has led me to research the times post Cromwell and fire of London, which is a period my history classes didn't cover. As in most series, theres a predictability about the story because the 'hero' has to survive but compared to neurotic housewives and brooding policemen (and women) it makes an interesting and informative change. Also try his book about Manhatten. its heavier going, I found, but again the details of the civil war and of how rural the New York area was, a relatively short time ago, fascinating.

2 people found this helpful

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More exciting escapades by Marwood & Lovett

This is the fourth book in this series I've listened to and enjoyed. Set in the years after the Great Fire of London and a time when some of the public were beginning to question whether the restoration of Charles II had been such a good thing. Particularly those of a more Presbyterian inclination who feared that the King was closet Catholic and wished for the return of of Cromwell's son. Marwood and Lovett get embroiled in violent tussles between supporters of the King and those wishing his overthrow. Cat Lovett, being the daughter of a regicide, is particularly vulnerable to accusations of complicity. Added to the mix is the duplicitous Duke of Buckingham. It's a gripping story that kept me listening aide by excellent dramatization of the dialogue by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 03-07-20

Wonderful!

I thoroughly enjoyed the 3rd book in this series. The historical detail is so interesting.The characters are well developed and the narration is excellent. Intrigue and murder at the court of Charles II.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting look at the other Cromwell

This is a fun series but blimey, Andrew Taylor is fond of of creating likeable characters then doing horrible sad things to them! The overall story featuring Richard Cromwell just goes to remind how little impact the son of a ‘Great Man’ can have

1 person found this helpful

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Educational and to the point

I enjoyed listening to this book very much. Easy to follow and the Narrator braught it to life.

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Another excellent story

A great addition to this series. My only quibble is with the treatment of poor Ferrus at the end. It may be truthful, but I would have preferred a different end to his part of the story.

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Fabulous

I hesitate to use the word... Gripping.. But it was really compulsive listening. Now I tend to buy audible books based on both the author and narrator. Both in this book are excellent and I have just ordered more from the same series.

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Excellent

Brilliantly read by Leighton Pugh. I enjoyed the first two in the series and this didn’t disappoint

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Book 4

Absolutely riveting- I preordered this book as the others in the series were so good. Fantastic - I hope there will be a book five! Well done to Andrew Taylor for such a good read. JM

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  • Virginia Brewer
  • 04-01-21

Critique of The Last Protector

This book starts slowly but contains many fascinating historical incidents & characters. The action & conspiracies increase in momentum & detail very well paced.