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Plague Child [Kindle Edition]

Peter Ransley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

The first instalment of a captivating trilogy set against the backdrop of the English Civil War.

September 1625: Plague cart driver, Matthew Kneave, is sent to pick up the corpse of a baby. Yet, on the way to the plague pit, he hears a cry – the baby is alive. A plague child himself, and now immune from the disease, Matthew decides to raise it as his own.

Fifteen years on, Matthew’s son Tom is apprenticed to a printer in the City. Somebody is interested in him and is keen to turn him into a gentleman. He is even given an education. But Tom is unaware that he has a benefactor and soon he discovers that someone else is determined to kill him.

The civil war divides families, yet Tom is divided in himself. Devil or saint? Royalist or radicalist? He is at the bottom of the social ladder, yet soon finds himself within reach of a great estate – one which he must give up to be with the girl he loves.

Set against the fervent political climate of the period, 'Plague Child' is a remarkable story of discovery, identity and an England of the past..

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Product Description


‘Tom's search for his own identity is intimately connected with the seismic events tearing England apart in the 1640s. Ransley has a talent for melding dramatic historical detail with a strong story that could well give C. J. Sansom a run for his money.' Spectator

‘A gripping coming-of-age story…an enthralling mystery adventure.’ Radio Times

‘There are some cracking [historical] writers out there. And Peter Ransley is certainly worthy of a place at the top…a great tale that would sit well on the screen… Ransley conveys not only the action, but also the self-doubt and blundering of a poorly-trained army daring to challenge its king… If [the] second book] is as good as this one, then we are in for a real treat.’ Eastern Daily Press

About the Author

Peter Ransley has written extensively for television. His BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters’s ‘Fingersmith’ was nominated for a BAFTA for best series in 2006 and his ITV drama ‘Falling Angel’, starring Emilia Fox and Charles Dance, was screened in 2007. He is a winner of the Royal Television Society’s Writer’s Award.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 561 KB
  • Print Length: 451 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007312377
  • Publisher: William Collins (31 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q3RMO4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,461 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great evocative read, a real page turner 13 April 2011
By N Saker
I read a pre-release copy of this book and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt the author really created a strong sense of place and environment around the story. Making the period come to life in a very visceral way. I felt for the characters and did truly want to follow their story through. As a work of historical fiction, with it's inclusion of 'real life' people into the story this was a real page turner. True it may not stand up as a work of historical reference but it never claims to be such a thing. A great read, I can't wait for the sequel!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super storytelling 17 April 2011
This is as gripping a tale as I have read in a long while - it has the quality of an Alexandre Dumas adventure story, complete with real historical characters mixing with the fictional, and a tremendous sense of time and place. The author writes so vividly that you can see and taste and smell everything he describes. I used to think this was quite a dull period in history but now I am so fascinated I will go and read more.
I highly recommend this to readers of all ages, I have given it to my 12 yr old nephew who devoured it, and to my aunt who is a historical fiction fanatic in her 60's, both loved it. Don't miss it, and the next installment should be along in 2012...
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the English civil war's surprisingly topical! 10 April 2011
By Joanna
Format:Kindle Edition
I've just finished Plague Child and really enjoyed it. I like historical fiction and here we have a period which I knew little about - the English Civil War. Absolutely fascinating to get a sense of the struggle, seemed so resonant of today. The King fighting to stay in power whatever the cost. The power of the early political pamphlets,effectively the first newspapers. Pamphlets were rushed to the press and would be read out loud to people without literacy. I suppose this was the equivalent of the impact of the internet in the uprisings today. Interesting characters and a thoroughly good story. I am looking forward to number 2!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Debut 28 Jun. 2011
I was asked to read this quite some time ago as part of a controlled group of 100 readers, to feedback on the writer, writing, style, the cover the plot etc.. It was a novel (excuse the pun) request and one i was happy to do for any debut book, and once i had started working my way into this gem a double pleasure.
This is a period of history i avoid like the plague (again sorry not intending them they just keep happening) it was a subject they flogged to death at school, the plague, the civil war blah blah blah... but this book plague Child brings the whole period to life, sometimes in its gross sticking glory.

Peter Ransley is a potential star of the future, if he can follow up this title with something as good or better then it will confirm there is a real new talent around.
I learned loads in this book, but didnt feel i was being force fed history, i met characters i want to know more about, and i felt, smelt and lived a period of history that shaped this nation... brilliant stuff.

Im also glad the cover is not one of the ones they asked us to comment on... they were w=awful pastel things... blurrgh.

Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 9 Oct. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book took some getting into for me and I almost gave up after the first few chapters but saw it through and, like all good books, was really sorry to reach the end. I'm looking forward to no. 2.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Historical Page-Turner 29 July 2011
By Elizabeth Taylor VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed this book especially as it was set in a tumultuous period of British history not that often used as a vehicle for historical fiction, but, despite the good parts I couldn't help but feel that the author could have made more of what he had. So what did he have, well an engaging lead character Tom Neave, unassuming and believable - working as a printer in London. A fascinating period of history the English civil war which is not much written about especially in terms of the daily lives of individuals. And finally a catchy plot, that being a child born of parents unknown, brought up my a working class family discovering that he was adopted. But who are his parents, why was he rejected by them and most interesting of all if he does find them on what side in the war are they?

The novel is a search for personal answers, and, is paced well to reveal just a little bit of information on every page so you have to keep turning and turning. Ultimately it was clear to me at the end that the author expects to write more novels in the series so perhaps he didn't want to put everything into this one, which meant for me that it was a little disappointing in the end. However, don't be put off by that it may just be that I was hoping for more because I enjoyed it so much throughout.

So recommended holiday reading, engaging and interesting, with a good story about an unusual place in time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars difficult to follow 16 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was the first book by this author I have read. I found it difficult to get into at first but persevered and found it did flow better towards the end. It didn't reach its conclusion easily and I felt it did not have such a good plot but hid its end by skipping around rather than the plot. I understand the next book in the series is better but at twice the cost I will be waiting until the price comes down before I buy it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More sniffles than all out sneezing 4 Mar. 2011
By Quiverbow TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit to not reading any historical novels. The ones I've seen on the shelves tend to be those of a more romantic type. `Plague Child', the first book in a trilogy from Peter Ransley, appeared to be slightly different, enveloping that element along with being a thriller and a who-is-it, rather than a whodunit.

Taking place between the fag end of 1641 and Spring 1643 in the early years of the Civil War, both the prologue set 15 years earlier and opening chapters start promisingly and does make you wonder what it is about Tom Neave, whose first person narrative the book revolves around, that makes him so interesting to others. Saved from being dumped into a plague pit when first born, the majority of the text concentrates upon who he really is, who is out to kill him and why, and what answers a jewelled pendant holds.

Unfortunately, after a decent first few chapters, it does begin to plod a bit with some superfluous sections with Ransley waffling on, somewhat needlessly at times, taking three pages to say something that could have been accomplished in one. Whereas some characters seem to be just passing through, though they may well make an appearance in the next part of the trilogy, one thing that kept me going to the end - other to find out how Neave's story could be expanded to three novels - were the female characters. Though sparingly used, it's they that come across as the stronger gender and in some ways the more interesting characters, holding all the answers. Who is she? What's her involvement in all this? Why is she doing that?

In a book seemingly so well researched, and `Plague Child' does evoke the period quite well, there are a few errors. "...between the other coach and the posts that bordered the sidewalk." Sidewalk? In mid C17th England?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Down to earth with everyday detail giving a real feel for the period.
Published 11 days ago by denise todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
intriguing story -
Published 1 month ago by Yvonne
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK read
Fairly entertaining with a good plot but occasionally the writing style made it hard to follow. I would read another Peter Ransley book but he isn't in the same league as Sansom or... Read more
Published 2 months ago by candyjar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book and transaction
Published 2 months ago by Caroline Gill
2.0 out of 5 stars I bought this as it sounded like my kind of book
I bought this as it sounded like my kind of book, it wasn't till I got about 50 pages in I was bored, it's not a bad book but there isn't enough to keep you interested, it read as... Read more
Published 4 months ago by joseph evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book, I'm looking forward to getting and reading the next two books. This is the first Peter Ransley I've read, but he has an excellent writing style
Published 5 months ago by kathryn Mullins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story very entertaining with lots happening
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Jocelyn Cosgrove
2.0 out of 5 stars Plague Child
Eventually got into the story of this book sometimes going back and 're reading parts of it. I shall read the other two books to find out what happens to Tom and his family. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Margaret jarvis
5.0 out of 5 stars Will miss Tom so much
a book I couldn't put down. read into the early hours of morning, in two days, will miss Tom, Matthew and still feel sad for Susannah. Read more
Published 9 months ago by lisa gooch-knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read I read it on my holiday
Published 9 months ago by Mrs schofa
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