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The Seeker

Damian Seeker 1
Narrated by: Nicholas Camm
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4 out of 5 stars (160 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

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

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Dark-Cloaked Figure

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.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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First we form our buildings....

What did you like most about The Seeker?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Any scene in which 'High Highness' Oliver Cromwell was present.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous

I loved it! Brilliantly written with many twists and turns it kept me guessing until the end. Nicholas Camm voice is hypnotic and draws you into the story. At no point did I have to guess who was speaking. I can't wait for the next one.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Listen at 1.25 speed

This is an excellent story, but the narrator is very soporific. Rather than not listening though, I listened at 1.25 speed (on my iphone) and found it perfectly OK. I'm glad I persevered as it really was an excellent story

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amo
  • UK
  • 07-08-17

Could stand the narrator

We didn't get very far listening to this as the northern droll drone of the narrator was totally abysmal. Is was a voice that managed to get on the nerves whilst not actually putting any words into your brain!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Probably a good book, but hard to tell

I loved the Alexander Seton series, but the monotonous mumble of this reading made the story very hard to follow. The reader can only do one accent, his own, and what should have been an exciting tale constantly lost my attention.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Really good 😊

Can't wait to read the next one ! Loved the characters, the story, the atmosphere
I'm hooked...

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A gread story

it took me a little while to warm to the main character and the narrator but i am so pleased i didnt give up.. An excellent tale bringing to life the times of Oliver Cromwell. Another thoroughly enjoyable book by SG Maclean

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • Trowbridge, United Kingdom
  • 25-10-17

DON'T DON'T DON'T

The narration is so bad, a drawling monotone that is just someone saying the words not reading them.
Dull as ditchwater
Whoever commissioned this guy as narrator needs publicly flogging.
If you feel you just absolutely must have this book - listen to the sample then imagine 9 odd hours of that dreary rambling.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Loved it 🦅

I was totally engrossed - and what is more, convinced - by SG MacLean's creation and the London streets he walks. Numerous deft touches make both materialise and breathe, with the absolute nuanced perfection of Nicholas Camm's narration; I wait to welcome The Black Friar into my library.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful