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Revenger (John Shakespeare) Paperback – 3 Feb 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184854085X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848540859
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 www.roryclements.co.uk

Product Description

Review

'Excellent . . . both a thriller and a history lesson . . . it succeeds on both literary and dramatic levels . . . It is an amazing book that combines detail of Tudor life and language with an exciting adventure story. Clements is obviously an enthusiastic scholar and manges to convey all the atmosphere and customs of the sixteenth century in a convincing action novel . . . The author has a masterly style that holds the attention and carries the story effortlessly forward . . . Clements's second novel combines political intrigue in high places with the cruelty and depravity of the times. It is a successful formula and his third book will be eagerly awaited' (Sunday Express)

'A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine. Atmospheric . . . it demonstrates energy, élan, a fine ear for dialogue and a grasp for the intrigues of Elizabeth I's court. Clements also demonstrates the compelling eye for detail and character that Bernard Cornwell so memorably brought to Rifleman Sharpe . . . I could not tear myself away, it is that good' (Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail)

'The sights, sounds and smells of Elizabethan London are resurrected in Rory Clements's marvellous Revenger, in which intelligencer John Shakespeare (brother of you know who . . .) administers what can only be described as ruff justice' (Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph)

'Step into the world of Elizabethan intelligencer John Shakespeare and you put your very life in peril, whether it be by the blade, the rope or the rack . . . High adventure has never been more exciting, and a life-and-death shoot-out at a lonely Masham farm makes for a storming climax' (Northern Echo)

'This is a substantial and satisfying novel . . . I love this book and it is a great successor to the first book. John Shakespeare is established as a swashbuckling hero of the first order and his family are becoming important to the story. I look forward to another tale of John Shakespeare' (Crimesquad)

'Revenger is a page-turning mix of mystery, political intrigue and adventure, as gripping as any modern-day thriller' (Keighley News)

Praise for Martyr (:)

'Clements has a real feel for the Elizabethan period...he understands the religious challenges and historical events that shaped 16th century politics and amidst it all he has devised a thrilling plot. An excellent start to a new series' (Lancashire Evening Post, Pam Norfolk)

'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)

'Captivates and carries one along through the strength of its plot and its intelligent main character' (Dallas Morning News)

'The joy of this book is the way it interweaves commonly known history with the story. The atmosphere and attention to detail will commend this book to devotees of the period' (Crimesquad)

'Clements can be seen as doing for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's . . . What's impressive in the latest is how much of Tudor society it crams in, from the court and Derby's estate to outlaws and the soldiers in its concluding scene' (Sunday Times)

'There's plenty of thrills . . . the multiple plot elements are well-handled . . . there's much that's enjoyable and Clements' orchestration of the narrative is skillful' (www.displacementactivity.co.uk)

'The best yet in Rory Clements' magnificent series about John Shakespeare . . . As always, the historical detail is fascinating and sometimes delightfully obscure . . . another sumptuous feast that will leave you sated - but craving for the next helping! (Crimesquad)

'I found this the best book in the series' (Historical Novels Review)

Praise for Prince:

'A genuine page turner, and cleverly weaves in real historical events and personalities. Fans will not be disappointed'

(Eastern Daily Press)

'Intriguing . . . wonderfully graphic and descriptive. Clements richly deserves the accolade: "faster moving than C.J. Sansom' (Bookbag)

'Clements' thrilling murder mysteries are a real cut above . . . steeped in authentic 16th-century politics, the plots are complex and clever, and the characters believable and engrossing. But his greatest gift is the ability to bring to life the squalor, intrigue and perils of Tudor London and amidst it all create a superbly tense and entertaining mystery. Roll on Mr Shakespeare's Act IV' (Lancashire Evening Post)

'Blending fact with fiction Clements tells a rip-roaring yarn with vigour and energy and a huge enthusiasm for the period . . . a novel lacking neither action nor spice. An undeniably enjoyable and lively plot that gathers pace and excitement throughout. A devilishly good read' (Crime Time)

'There is a veritable cornucopia of elements to praise here . . . John Shakespeare is one of the great historical sleuths' (Barry Forshaw)

'This very well-plotted, erudite, historical mystery has many twists and turns which make for a very vivid story line. A very absorbing read with a real quality, similar in style but perhaps faster moving, than books by James Forrester or C.J. Sansom. I consider it one of the best books I've read this year. I will certainly look out for more stories by this very talented writer' (Eurocrime)

'What most impressed me was Clements' ability to set a fast-paced crime thriller in the London of 1593 and to make it entirely convincing. Clements gives life to this world, not just through years of painstaking research into all things Elizabethan - from cuisine to clothing, politics to borstals, autopsies to witchcraft - but through his use of real figures from history and the manipulation of actual events. What we end up with is a scenario that is believable, and perhaps this is what makes it such an enjoyable read. Whether intentionally or no, many of the topics dealt with in this book also still resonate today and it gives acts of terrorism, for example, a longer historical context'

(Edinburgh Book Review)

Praise for Martyr and Revenger:

'A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next'

(Sunday Express)

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)

Book Description

Revenger (John Shakespeare 2) For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, REVENGER is the second in chronological order of 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on 3 May 2010
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James Eves on 4 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Potter on 5 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Loved 'Martyr' and was hoping 'Revenger' was going to be as good. It wasn't - It was even better!!. Started reading Rory Clements as adored the 'Shardlake' books and was recommended his books thanks to Amazon reviews and to me he now ranks up along with C J Sansom. His books are riviting, funny, educational and full of wonderful characters some fictional some not.I can't recommend both these books highly enough. Can we have the next one asap please Mr Clements!!?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic sequel to Martyr, Clements has brought the Elizabethan era to life once again, with plot and sub plot and a host of new villains with novel ways of inflicting suffering on their victims, all in the name of religion. Couldn`t put it down, can`t wait for the next installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E Thomas on 24 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
The year is 1592; four years since the Spanish Armada and five years since the last time we met John Shakespeare. I had read and enjoyed the first book so decided that I would try his second adventure.
How can the death of 2 young lovers be linked to a plot by the Earl of Essex to take over the English throne when the ageing Queen Elizabeth I finally dies, the mystery of a colony in the new world and the hunt for an elusive woman all be linked?
Also thrown into the story is a falling out between Shakespeare and his wife Catherine over her desire to practice Catholicism. This murder, mystery, marital disharmony and double crossing make this an excellent second novel.
The dark, dank atmosphere of 16th century London on the brink of a plague epidemic is fantastically recreated. The horrors of the period are also exposed through the (somewhat gruesome) torture techniques that would be handed out should you cross the wrong person. The book has obviously been expertly researched and the author's love of the period shines through.
This a smashing Elizabethan murder mystery/thriller which had me gripped from start to finish - superb!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Plucked Highbrow on 20 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hadn't really taken to Rory Clements after reading the first John Shakespeare book, Martyr. I had him pegged as a solid writer but not in the same league as CJ Sansom or SJ Parris in terms of historical detective novels set in Elizabethan England. However I'm revising my opinion after reading Revenger.
The plot is simple, John Shakespeare (a former intelligencer for Walsingham) is called out of retirement to work for the Earl of Essex. He wishes Shakespeare to find a supposed survivor of the Roanoke colony in the New World who has been sighted in London. This is the door into a more complicated treason involving Arbella Stuart and the Devereux family.
The rivalries between the noble houses in the Tudor court are well-drawn, more is made of the difficulties of Shakespeare's wife's Catholicism but the relationship between John Shakespeare and his brother William still seems like a stretch too far.
I much preferred this to Martyr and so am glad I've kept with the series.
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