'Humphreys' expressive writing style and ability to weave a tale from these engaging characters' respective points of view makes for a rich and addictive read, ideal for fans of historical fiction' - Publishers Weekly
'The mix of plague and puritans with popcorn storytelling makes for an entertaining treat' - Quill and Quire, Canada
'With kings and cripples, rats and rotters, highwaymen and loose women, you'd never thin a lethal virus could be so much fun.'
- Sunday Sport UK
London, 1665. The Plague is back.
Thousands are dying, thousands more imprisoned in their own houses, red crosses painted on their doors announcing the pestilence within. While on a dark road outside London, a simple robbery goes horribly wrong – when the highwayman, Captain Coke, discovers that his intended victims have been brutally slaughtered.
Suspected of the murders, Coke is forced into an uneasy alliance with the man who pursues him – the relentless thief-taker, Pitman. Clues lead them to the theatre and to the players who entertain Charles II and his libertine courtiers. There, two actresses – the spirited Sarah Chalker, the beautiful young Lucy Absolute – help to uncover a plot by a fanatical cult planning to kill King Charles and replace him with King Jesus. Love grows between the captain and Sarah – only for both murderer and plague to come between them. And as Death moves remorselessly through the glittering court and the fetid alleys, from the raucous playhouse to the barbarous prisons, can a highwayman, an actress and a thief-taker unite to stop him?
An epic, suspense-filled journey through a great city’s nightmare, Plague has enough mystery, history and romance to entrance every historical fiction fan.
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Humphreys’ expressive writing style and ability to weave a tale from these engaging characters’ respective points of view makes for a rich and addictive read, ideal for fans of historical fiction.
“Fast, exciting historical adventure, to be read in huge gulps. A runaway carriage of a book.”
―Conn Iggulden, author of War of the Roses
“PLAGUE is one of those books where you turn the last page and wish there were more. The very best of history, mystery, romance and sheer fun. (Well, and a few rats…) London itself is as vivid a character as the actors, adventurers and intriguers who people its all-too-few pages.”
“It’s vintage Humphreys, which is to say that it is beautifully written. I have long been a huge fan of his writing voice which is a perfect mixture of style, pin-point description, humour and a certain wry wisdom. His characters are larger than life but always credible. And so it was with Plague, which from the opening pages was a pacy, exciting read. It’s a brilliant depiction of seventeenth century London in all its glory and grime against the grim backdrop of the eponymous plague. A great read all round, and for my money Chris is better than Sansom and more than deserves equal success.”
Chris Humphreys has excelled himself in this richly glorious white-knuckle ride through a London torn apart by recent civil war and caught on the edge of plague. The language is lyrical and lovely and feels utterly grounded in the time. The plot is a perfect crime thriller with something new round each corner: always unexpected, always satisfying. The Thief and the Thief taker are both wounded, vulnerable, damaged men, but the synergy of the two together is a glory to watch and I loved it. This matches the earthy lyricism of Pepys with the crime-crafting talents of a Rankin or a Cornwell in a vibrant, utterly immersive wonder of a novel. Impossible to put down. Read it.”