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A Dreadful Penance (A Stephen Attebrook mystery Book 3)

A Dreadful Penance (A Stephen Attebrook mystery Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Jason Vail
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

November 1262 is an unlikely season for war. But war nonetheless is coming to the March, the wild borderland between England and Wales. Not the war that most fear between the supporters of the King and the rebellious barons uniting around Simon de Montfort, but with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Welsh warlord who styles himself Prince of Wales and who has united the fractious tribes of his land against the English.

The English are uncertain, however, where and when the blow will fall. So, Sir Geoffrey Randall, coroner of Herefordshire, dispatches his deputy, the impoverished knight Stephen Attebrook, to the border town of Clun to make contact with a spy in order to learn Llywelyn’s plans.

At the same time, Randall directs Attebrook to investigate the murder of a monk found dead in his bed at the Augustine priory of St. George at Clun.

The assignment casts Attebrook into the middle of a desperate feud between the priory and the lord of Clun and reveals a forbidden love that can only result in suffering and death.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2128 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hawk Publishing (23 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007O9YK2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,118 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Be Better 25 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read works by this author before and being familiar with his main character I found this story somewhat disappointing. The author's historical knowledge of the period is good, which is why I have read more than one of his books, but to the English ear, lapses into colloquial 21st century American usage detracts from the ambience of the story. In particular the use of the casual "Sir Geoff" instead of "Sir Geoffrey" is well out of period. The ending of the story came across as contrived rather than practical, was rushed, as another reviewer has pointed out, and rather disappointing. All-in-all this is good holiday reading but fails to rank with the better historical novelists, of whom there are many.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dreadful penance 10 May 2012
By jackiec
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
great character in stephen attbrook....well written and very enjoyable...however, just felt the end of this one was too rushed...hope this is not the end of this particular series and stephen...hes got a long life ahead methinks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vail's third in the series deserves attention 18 Aug 2013
By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE
It was not the first clash between the English and the Welsh--and it won't be the last--but it's 1272, which is probably as good a year as any to set a novel--the English have a long history of their "clashes" against those upstarts, the Welch, the Scots, the Irish. The colonies. It's a long history.

Still, "days of empire" is not what Jason Vail is particularly concerned with in his third novelin this series, "A Dreadful Penance."

Lo and behold, a monk has been found murdered in an abbey along the Welch March, just at a time when trouble's a-brewing for another squabble. Sir Geoffrey Randall, coroner of Herefordshire who's in charge, dispatches his trusted deputy Stephen Attebrook to investigate and "to clear things up."

Attebrook is a knight not so long returned from nine years of fighting in Spain. Failing to find fame and fortune--and coming home with part of a foot missing from a battle encounter--he finds employment as the deputy coroner. With his trusty assistant Gilbert, he, along with a retinue from the abbey set out to solve the murder. He finds, in addtion, the struggle between the church and the lord of the manor and some highly irregular activities of the abbey's occupants.

Things, of course, are not as they seem. The murdered monk has a few secrets of his own, not the least of which there are "entanglements" that are leading directly to another fight between the English and the Welsh. The solution of this murder is actually not the point of the book, but rather the political intrigue, the relationships between some of the characters, and the establishment of a good time period for a setting worth studying.

"A Dreadful Penance" is a short book and Vail provides us with two characters not only worth developing but caring about.

Of course, the mystery is solved--not an issue--but the interest is in watching Attebrook get there. Vail's Attebrook has potential. Let's see.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dreadful penance 20 April 2012
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is the third outing for Stephen Attebrook and once again Jason Vail has written a great book. Couldn't stop reading it can't wait for the next one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced mystery 9 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fast paced mystery with some familiar characters with very human feelings and failings bandits and killers and a child's safety a fathers concern.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can't solve murders by sitting in the grass 19 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well, I have to say I got to the end of this and I am still having trouble finding out what the dreadful penance was that caused the author to title this book. Still...
I like Jason Vail. I am going to cautiously compare him to the peerless Ellis Peters. The reason for this is that I like the simplicity of his narrative, the tidiness of his action and plot, the effectiveness of the mystery. In much the same way I like the departed Ms Peters' Cadfael novels. This is not to say I think Sir Stephen Attebrooke and his trusty sidekick Gilbert Gristwoode should make it onto the small screen played by the inestimable Derek Jacobi. There is also the matter that Mr Vail seriously needs an editor to steer him. In fact I'd go so far as to venture this novel was written before the other two; or at least drafted. It has a "newness" about it that isn't quite as polished as the previous books.
The story concerns a trip by Stephen to a run-down priory at Clun on the Welsh border to find out who has murdered the sub-cellarer, William. In addition he's tasked with having Gilbert find out what Prince Llywelyn is up to (something that proves irrelevant given the climatic fires in the novel). En route to the Priory he comes across a bandit raid on innocent travelers and is forced into a confrontation with the bullying lord of the town - Sir Percival FitzAllan. This, in turn, leads him to investigate the characters of Hugh, Oswic, Llwyn, Odo, Brin, and Bran. Suffice it to say he manages to work out the truth without too many vicissitudes, makes a couple of friends and stomps off back home having solved a mystery, found some treasure and watched a town burn to a charred crisp.
Back on the theme on an editor....and with regard to the historical and literary aspects. There are a fair few faults.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read 5 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
interesting characters you get to like with good plots I have read all 4 in this series and can recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first time reading this author. 11 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable read. Will look to read more of Jason Vail 's the period where the books are set.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No penance to read.
There's nothing to dislike about this authour's stories and style of writing. Crisp, clear writing and a plot that moves at a good pace. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Spooner
5.0 out of 5 stars REVIEW
the shirts are what I expected very good you get what you pay for, three days at Gettysburg was an historical text not what I expected, I am a big fan of Jason Vail I have a lot of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by big john e
3.0 out of 5 stars Right subject- wrong country
An American trying to write an English historical novel ok for Americans - not for an Englishman like me!

Peter Broadley
Published 10 months ago by P BROADLEY
5.0 out of 5 stars MEDIEVAL MYSTERY
Excellent background historical knowledge. Brings the true harshness and cruelty of the times to life with a totally believable hero.
Published 12 months ago by VIV RATH
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dreadful pennance
A very good and plausible story. It brings out the feeling of the time and the anxiety of the cross border war. Read more
Published 13 months ago by GSJackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read
Action-packed mediaeval thriller. The fight scenes are particularly well written. The main characters are well-drawn and interesting, the historical background convincing.
Published 13 months ago by Nicola Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars First Vail novel- excellent read
This is the first Jason Vail novel I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I'm a fan of this type of historical, medieval mystery. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs J Jobson
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good story
My only criticism is that I would have liked it to be longer, a thoroughly good read with plenty of interest to hold the readers attention.
Published 15 months ago by paula shirley
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