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Edward Marston

Allison & Busby £17.99 hbk

Reviewed by Jim Nelson

The setting: Restoration London post Great Fire 1666. And the fourth in the series featuring architect Christopher Redmayne and Puritan constable Jonathan Bale. A frost fair is being held on the rare occassion when the River Thames froze over; tragedy strikes when a child falls through a thin patch of ice. This is not a lone incident: the accident reveals the body of an Italian fencing master. And to compound matters, Redmayne's brother is accused of the murder. Can Redmayne prove his innocence and discover the true murderer? You'll have to read this to find out.
Everything about this series smacks of authenticity and a love for the period. It's not a publishing secret that Edward Marston is really Keith Miles and he has written at least four historical series including the Domesday volumes featuring Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret. The strength of his novels lie in his characterizations and dialogue, something he learned when he cut his teeth back in the days of fast-turnaround TV and radio series. Also he tells a bloody good story. And this is one of them.