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A Dark Night Hidden (Hawkenlye Mystery) [Hardcover]

Alys Clare
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Nov 2003 Hawkenlye Mystery

Josse D'Acquin and the Abbess Helewise are appalled by the views of the fanatical new priest, Father Micah, but are even more horrified when his body turns up by the side of the road. Whatever his methods he was a man of God. And when it appears that a band of evangelical heretics, whom Micah condemned to the stake, might be behind his death, the Abbess is torn by her compassion for their suffering and her duty to the church.

When Josse realises that Helewise cannot possibly condone his desires to save the heretics he is forced to act against her wishes, risking the greatest friendship he has. For the Abbess, her friendship with Josse is deepening the longer he stays at the abbey, as is her awareness of his attractions as a man.

Meanwhile Joanna, Josse's former lover, lives hidden in the forest with their baby girl, Meggie. Joanna continues to learn the skills and secrets of the pagan forest people but it is only at her initiation that she realises what mysterious powers have been unleashed. Despite their wisdom however the forest people are both feared by and vulnerable to outsiders. When Joanna nurses an injured woman back to health, she and Meggie find themselves in mortal danger.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (10 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340793317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340793312
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,294,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for Alys Clare: 'Alys Clare writes these gorgeous books in modern day style, producing intense and beautiful tales of ancient charm' - Bangor Chronicle

'Alys Clare is a worthy successor to Miss Peters . . . This is no murder-by-numbers writer.' - Derby Evening Telegraph

A worthy heir to Ellis Peters, though grittier, materialises (Poison in the Pen)

Proof that a writer of medieval crime fiction can deliver something fresh (The Times)

Book Description

The sixth in the medieval crime series set in Hawkenlye in the Weald of Kent

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: The spiteful wind of a bleak, icy February blasted down the muddy track and around the sparse huddle of buildings as if it hated the world and everything in it.

Father Gilbert has broken his ankle and a substitute priest has been sent. Father Micah's fanaticism has won him no friends. However, it wasn't expected to find his body lying in a ditch. A man speaking a foreign language begs help of the Abbey of Hawkenlye. The woman he carries has been severely whipped and her forehead branded.

From Gervase de Gilfford, in the service of Richard FitzRoger de Clare, Sir Josse d'Acquin learns the two people were part of a group of Cathars traveling through England. Josse and Gilfford seek to find the rest of the group and the killer of Father Micah.

Catholics, Cathars and pagans, what a great combination. I actually like a bit of woo-woo and, in this time where some did still practice the old ways, it worked for me.

Helewise and Jose are wonderful characters and never more so than in this book. Their friendship is strong and an important element of the story. Each had a question of their faith versus morality. It was handled very well. There are some wonderful supporting characters, particularly Father Gilbert and Gervase de Gilfford, of whom I hope we see more.

Clare always creates a very strong sense of time of place. I particularly like that her dialogue provides a sense of the period without being over the top. The story was very well plotted, although you did have to wonder at the alternating POVs. I should have known to trust Clare in that she always being the story together and always ties up all the loose ends

This is a great series; a pleasure to read, and one with which I shall definitely continue.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alys Clare Consistently Writes Good Books. 4 Mar 2005
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Alys Clare's Hawkenleye series revolve around her two main characters Sir Josse d'Acquin and Helewise, abbess of the Hawkenleye Abbey.
Sir Josse is spending Yuletide with relatives he has not seen for many a long year when news reaches England that the Lionheart has been captured by his enemies and a ransom most be raised to free him from their clutches.
Sir Josse believes that Queen Eleanor is bound at some stage to call at Hawkenleye Abbey which is one of her favourite religious houses and decides to call there on the way back to his own manor and seek out the Abbess, who herself is a friend of Josse. Perhaps he will be able to get some first hand information about what is to be done to free King Richard.
The Abbess Helewise is however having problems of her own as a sadistic new priest has arrived to administer to the spritual needs of the Abbey.
Josse and Helewise are soon embroiled in more than one murder by people who are no friends of the church in general and Hawkenleye Abbey in particular.
Sir Josse and Helewise are given an excellent and friendly relationship by the author, with undertones that something more than friendship is never far away.
This series of books are excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alys Clare's Books are Always Worth Reading 13 Mar 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Alys Clare's Hawkenleye series revolve around her two main characters Sir Josse d'Acquin and Helewise, abbess of the Hawkenleye Abbey.

Sir Josse is spending Yuletide with relatives he has not seen for many a long year when news reaches England that the Lionheart has been captured by his enemies and a ransom most be raised to free him from their clutches.

Sir Josse believes that Queen Eleanor is bound at some stage to call at Hawkenleye Abbey which is one of her favourite religious houses and decides to call there on the way back to his own manor and seek out the Abbess, who herself is a friend of Josse. Perhaps he will be able to get some first hand information about what is to be done to free King Richard.

The Abbess Helewise is however having problems of her own as a sadistic new priest has arrived to administer to the spritual needs of the Abbey.

Josse and Helewise are soon embroiled in more than one murder by people who are no friends of the church in general and Hawkenleye Abbey in particular.

Sir Josse and Helewise are given an excellent and friendly relationship by the author, with undertones that something more than friendship is never far away.

This series of books are excellent.
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47 of 61 people found the following review helpful
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
There are two basic rules to life: The best clothes can be bought in charity shops, and the best books rarely find their way to the bestseller lists. These are universally true, the latter in particular. While the bestseller lists are littered with James Patterson books, the real gems don't even make a dent. (Look at Ruth Rendell for example; her latest brilliant novel, The Rottweiler, didn't even dent the lists, despite her immense reputation.) This is, largely, i think because the public are not aware of the best fiction, because publishers don't promote it! Heaven knows why. This marvellous series is a prime example. Of all the myriad historical crime series' currently being produced, Alys Clare's Hawkenlye is head and shoulders above the rest, by far and away the best.
A Dark Night Hidden is another absolutely lovely novel. It is clever, intelligently and beautifully written, historically unobtrusive but nonetheless fascinating in its detail, plotted masterly, and is full of warm - and sometimes not so warm - characters who ooze humanity and reality. They are full and engaging and delightful to read about. This is most true of her two protagonists, Josse d'Aquin and Abbess Helewise, immensely likeable characters, with a warm and compelling relationship. In this book in particular, Clare makes their religious and moral conflicts deliciously compelling.
The plot is, once again, original and refreshing. These books are traditional historical mysteries, yes, but they are also stretched by far beyond that for the fact that Clare rarely takes notice of boundaries, and as a result her plots are always different and interesting. There's something so sprightly about her writing, too, that makes the plots race along with excitement.
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