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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
This is the seventh in the series and follows on from the previous. There is a fair bit of repetition to bring the new reader up to speed with what has gone previously. Despite this, I really enjoyed the novel.
The scenario is that, the Foresters, who supposedly look after the King's interests in the forest and enforce his law, have become more corrupt and violent...
Published on 30 Dec. 2010 by Dodster

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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
As one of his best . Plot was very slow
Published 25 days ago by Rehsux


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 30 Dec. 2010
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Dodster (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is the seventh in the series and follows on from the previous. There is a fair bit of repetition to bring the new reader up to speed with what has gone previously. Despite this, I really enjoyed the novel.
The scenario is that, the Foresters, who supposedly look after the King's interests in the forest and enforce his law, have become more corrupt and violent having linked up with a criminal gang to assist them in their pursuits.
Crowner becomes suspicious when his brother in law, the Sheriff, an opponent of the King, declines to become involved, despite the criminal elements. He and some local Lords set about bringing order back to Forest.
Crowner has further problems when his lover, Nesta, finds herself pregnant and has suspicions that Crowner is not the father.
Matilda, his wife finds out about the baby and leaves John to join a convent...
Very entertaining read, exciting and well told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A STRONG ADDITION TO THE SERIES, 24 Dec. 2014
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Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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In this seventh Crowner John novel, focus is on the Royal Forests of 1195 Devon. Thuggish foresters are liberally reinterpreting their role, using outlaws to help intimidate all who dwell in the vicinity. Any protests will result in smallholdings destroyed, severe beatings, even lives lost. Audaciously they claim to be acting in the King's name. Crowner John must tread warily with villains so powerful, especially when they are secretly supported (for a fee) by opportunist people on high. Almost certainly these include John's unscrupulous sheriff brother-in-law.

For once is the coroner here destined to fail?

An uncomfortable read, for the troublemakers are truly unpleasant and get their own way much of the time. One feels for victims so desperate and powerless. John has other problems too - the plight of his mistress Nesta causing increasing concern.

Those seeking a social, economic study of the times could do well to read these Bernard Knight novels, thoroughly researched details the background for stirring tales of a man (himself no angel) determined to use his new position to ensure justice will prevail. Hefty Cornishman Gwyn in every way provides solid support. Humble scribe Thomas continues to develop most movingly - he no longer one for his two companions to belittle but now with an ever-increasing role to play.

"Fear in the Forest" at 400+ pages is longer than its predecessors but does not seem so, especially in the closing chapters when occurs the greatly anticipated grand reckoning.

It helps to have read at least some of the other novels first but is not essential.

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crowner John investigates, 9 Feb. 2013
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A dark brooding wolf of a main character who leads you on a path seeking the truth. An enjoyable mystery which takes you right back to medieval England and all of the intrigue of the time. A hulking side kick, a pathetic clerk, an ascerbic wife, a forthright housemaid and a bawdy innkeeper all add to the interest and colourful pattern of the book. A cracking read and I can't wait for the rest of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really great read. Full of life, 11 Oct. 2014
A really great read. Full of life, and a real feel of Medieval England. You can almost smell the bad state of the drains and gutters!
Very well researched.. as are all of Bernard Knight's books about Crowner John.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars crowner john mysteries, 30 Jun. 2011
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It's a quick easy read, does no more, no less, than that. I enjoy these Bernard Knight books for that very reason.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 22 Aug. 2010
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I have read and re read this series - excellent read and I am always waiting for the newest book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 9 Feb. 2015
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G. Best - See all my reviews
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Entertaining light yarn - enjoyable series
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 7 Mar. 2015
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As one of his best . Plot was very slow
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Jan. 2015
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excellent.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prosaic and prolix, but authentic, 16 April 2006
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Did you know that the Woodmote was a court that dealt with offences against the vert amounting to less than four pence, whereas larger vert offences and those against venison were dealt with by the Forest Eyre? Well, you will do after reading this novel, because the author tells you several times. As always, Knight packs plenty of history and very little mystery into this Crowner yarn. Much of the dialogue is stilted and unnatural, sounding like a history lecture. The trick in historical fiction is to be authentic without the authenticity being obtrusive, a trick that Knight has not mastered. Nor is he unfailingly accurate, despite his obviously meticulous research. The term 'rogering' is certainly anachronistic, and I'm not sure that 'goodwife' was current at the time, either.

This is an adventure story rather than a mystery. It is therefore in the tradition of Ivanhoe, but without Scott's poetry. The subplot involves complications in the hero's extramarital affairs, and this aspect of the story is surprisingly well done, leading to a very poignant finale.

These novels are prone to misprints, which is annoying. Thus we have a character who is fighting for his life and we are told "...it was killed or be killed". Well, I suspect it was actually "kill or be killed", but it's a great way to break the tension in a fight scene. I spotted a dozen or more such mistakes, including one sentence which had become garbled beyond all comprehension.

As always, Knight draws out scenes that most writers would deal with more succinctly, and so devotes 410 pages to what could have been related in fewer than 300.

This series will appeal to lovers of historical fiction who value authenticity and character depiction rather than literary prose or twists and turns in the plot. If you are new to the series and would like to try it, start with the first, The Sanctuary Seekers, because the novels form a continuous narrative.
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