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Revenger: John Shakespeare 2 [Kindle Edition]

Rory Clements
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, REVENGER is the second in Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times

1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply.

The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen's long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex.

Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him - despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court - a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected.

When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger - but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?

Books In This Series (7 Books)
Complete Series

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    Enjoyable, bloody and brutish. (Guardian)

    A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine. (Daily Mail)

    Clements can be seen as doing for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's. (Sunday Times)

    John Shakespeare is one of the great historical sleuths. (Barry Forshaw)

    A colourful history lesson . . . exciting narrative twists. (Sunday Telegraph)


    'A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next' -- Sunday Express 'Beautifully done ... alive and tremendously engrossing' -- Daily Telegraph 'A colourful history lesson ... exciting narrative twists' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Enjoyable, bloody and brutish' -- Guardian 'An engrossing thriller' -- Washington Post 'An excellent debut' -- Publishers Weekly 'This is a historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine...atmospheric- the evocation of the filth and debauchery of London is quite exceptional- it demonstrates the compelling eye for detail and character that Bernard Cornwall so memorably brought to Rifleman Sharpe. I could not tear myself away, it is that good.' -- Daily Mail 'Revenger raises Clements to the top rank of historical thriller writers... an intricate web of plots and subplots vividly evoking the tenor of the times. Shakespeare makes a fascinating lead, perfectly suited to sustain what one hopes will be a long series' -- Publishers' Weekly

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1299 KB
    • Print Length: 460 pages
    • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29 April 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B004GKMUFI
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,863 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Rory Clements is the bestselling author of the John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. His six acclaimed novels, Martyr, Revenger, Prince, Traitor, The Heretics and The Queen's Man, follow Elizabeth's Intelligencer, John Shakespeare, brother to the playwright William, through the dark underworld of Tudor England as he unmasks the traitors and conspirators who plot against the Queen. The seventh John Shakespeare novel, Holy Spy, is due to be published in February 2015.

    Rory Clements won the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award in 2010 for Revenger, and has been shortlisted for CWA Awards for Martyr, Prince and The Heretics. A TV series is currently in development. Find out more at

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good one! 3 May 2010
    By Jeff VINE VOICE
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Having enjoyed Rory Clements' debut novel, I was a bit worried about the dreaded second-novel syndrome but thankfully, it doesn't apply here. This is a quality return to the late 16th century and to John Shakespeare. Five years have passed [it's now 1592] since the previous book and I have to ask why, other than to see the passing of Walsingham and the advent of Cecil in the top Spymaster position. The plot, which I won't detail as, let's face it, gives the game away revolves, to a certain extent, around Roanoake, an early settlement in what is now Virginia and problems relating to early settlers there. More to the point is the factional fracas between any number of people vying for the favours of the fading Elizabeth, not least the main contender Essex. Throw into the mix a not-too-convincing marital falling out between Shakespeare and his wife over religion and you have a thoroughly good read! Very well written and, it seems to me, well researched. I was very uncertain in the first book about the main character's name. It's clear that a John Shakespeare, supposedly elder brother of Will, never existed so I wondered what was the point. In the first book, quite honestly, there was no point at all but in this one things are different. William [the man himself!] makes an appearance and I have to say it works very well. It's known that he frequently skated on thin ice in his search for patronage and Clements brings this into his plot cleverly. Interesting take on Sir Walter Raleigh, a man perhaps few of us really know much about. And, by the end, which is all-action, we realise that what started it all is a problem that is sadly still with us.
    Excellent read which I strongly recommend. I note that the new CJ Sansum is due out very shortly. He's got competition!!
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    17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars TO BE OR NOT TO BE 4 May 2010
    I must say how much i enjoyed this second outing of John Shakespeare (and yes he is the old brother to young Will who plays his part in this adventure ),set in the 16th Century England ,Rory Clements creates the dark atomosphere for plague invested London, as he takes Shakespeare back into the world of the intelligencer in 16th century England and into the intrigues of Queen Elizabeth 1 court , were he is caught in the power struggle between The Earl of Essex and Sir Robert Cecil.Rory Clements has a great eye for detail and his story telling has you on the edge of your seat as we romp through this Historical thriller at pace.If you like C.J.Samson "Matthew Shardlake" or Susanner Gregory "Thomas Chaloner" you love John Shakespear,more please Mr Clements and soon.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    The title of this review tells you how much I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I really like Sanson and Cornwall but Rory Clements books are really superb and donot shy away from some of the nastier descriptions (but donot let that put you off - they are part of the story). The story is set in the time of Elizabeth I and is an exciting history/thriller with many twists that I didnot see coming. I recommend it and doubt that anyone will be disappointed though I would recommend that you read the first in the series 'Martyr' before this book as they are both excellent but this one being slightly better with the same leading characters.
    I have already ordered the next in the series 'Prince' as a hardback when it appears.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars better than shardlake 19 Jun. 2011
    i am a great fan of the shardlake books set in the reign of henry 8 so was not sure whether i would like this as clements has a lot to live up to but, if anything, i enjoyed it more.
    I have not read the first book martyr so did not really know what to expect but, whereas the shardlake novels can often seem a little slow, there was always something happening in this book. clements does not give the 'rose tinted glasses' view of elizabethan england, which is often associated with the virgin queen, and i enjoyed his use of the language and expressions of the era and his characters.
    i will definitely read martyr and would be surprised if it is not as good as this
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    15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Turning into a good series, but ... 26 April 2011
    This is turning out to be a very readable series. There's a lot to admire in this book - a fast-moving, page-turner plot with that safe old favourite, a race against time; interesting characters, including some excellent villains, many of whom are famous historical figures; a convincing 16th century setting, against a backdrop of real events; realistic dialogue which avoids any 'forsooths' or 'begads'; a solid leading man who's William Shakespeare's brother, no less. If you like a historical murder/spy mystery with a dash of intrigue you'll enjoy this, and the author has been clever enough to plant the seeds for a whole series.
    But for me it's an almost, but not quite, four star read.
    Rory Clements must realise (and his publishers, judging by the cover design, certainly do) that he will always be compared to CJ Sansom and that John Shakespeare will always be compared to Matthew Shardlake. In this respect, there's absolutely no contest. Sansom's first person narrative means that we enter into the heart and soul of Shardlake - consider how he constantly worries about the wellbeing and whereabouts of his sidekick Jack Barak, and compare that to the perfunctory relationship that Shakespeare has with his assistant Boltfoot, which just seems to move the plot along.
    However, it's an exciting plot and he weaves real people and events into it very well indeed, but for me it's short on atmosphere and characterisation. I suppose it's the difference between the character-led and the plot-led story. Sansom's characters live and breathe, making the story even more compelling. But maybe with a decent director and some good actors, Revenger's defects could be remedied for the book to form the basis of an excellent tv series?
    Just one final carping note: lose the lists at the end of the book!
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