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4.1 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2006
It is not often a book takes my breath away and is genuinely "unputdownable", but this was one. I was transported into the seedier side of Elizabethan England and kept on tenterhooks throughout. It is beautifully written, atmospheric and of an historical accuracy rare to found outside of Dorothy Dunnett and Colleen McCullough. Best read in years!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2008
I discovered Patricia Finney through her "Sir Robert Carey mysteries" and was delighted to find that this novel includes a glimpse of his earlier career, but that is just the gilt on the gingerbread. No, it's not an easy read, not least because this author believes in painting the Elizabethans Warts and All - which includes torture chambers, lack of plumbing, and the generally precarious business of sheer survival. But it is wonderfully written, and really seems to give an insight into sixteenth century minds.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2000
Unicorn's Blood lays a web sophisticated enough to keep fans of Le Carre absorbed and stays historically accurate, while inventing characters we can care about. Her heros are never 20th century politically correct, but admirable despite all their 16th century faults and idiosycracies. From the main characters' daring fights and escapes, to the incidental players' acts of conscience, I was holding my breath, cheering, and agonizing for right to prevail.
It is set in Elizabeth's Court and the streets of late 16th Century London and interweaves the real life mystery of how Elizabeth came to execute her cousin, Mary. Finney employs interesting devices such as narration by the "Holy Virgin"/earth goddess. A great read for any fan of espionage, historical mystery, or just great fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2007
Just like "Firedrake's eye" and "Gloriana's torch" this is a stunning detective novel set in Elizabethan times (have you ever considered what a wealth of books we would have missed out on if Elizabeth had never been queen?). Elizabeth is caught between a rock and a hard place: should she or should she not order the execution of Mary Queen of Scots? And when rumours about an ancient scandal begin, our unlikely heroes David Becket and Simon Ames finds themselves caught up in the midst.

Be aware that this is not an easy book, with it's intricate plot and dense language, so if you're looking for something to read on the beach while on holiday I'd pick something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2015
I loved the Robert Carey novels and hoped this one would be just as good. What totally spoilt it however was the huge amount of spelling mistakes, incorrect spelling and missing letters from words. This jarred every time I came to one which was very often so the flow of the book was constantly broken. Not what I would expect from this talented author.
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on 31 August 2015
couldn't put it down. Great read.
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on 5 February 2015
Took some getting into
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