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The Heretics: John Shakespeare 5 by [Clements, Rory]
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The Heretics: John Shakespeare 5 Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews

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Length: 449 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Rory Clements again brings to life the dark side of Elizabethan England. (Daily Mail)

Enjoyable, bloody and brutish. (Guardian)

Beautifully done ... alive and tremendously engrossing. (Daily Telegraph)

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

Book Description

For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, THE HERETICS is the fifth 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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1366 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009AE46I4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With over 6 weeks to go before its official release I was offered a chance to read an "uncorrected Proof Copy" of Heretics by the Amazon Vine Programme and, having read Clements earlier 4 novels on the exploits of John Shakespeare, I obviously jumped at the chance!

Now that I have finished it and have a chance to review it I thought I would give you my thoughts on John Shakespeare's 5th tale (without giving too much away)!

John, as usual, goes travelling out in the country attempting to find out about the latest diabolical plot to kill the queen - but he is unsure whether this one has been started in Spain or closer to home - Wisbech in Cambridgeshire or even closer to the Queen's court? He travels to Wisbech to visit the incarcerated monks there to question them and has a rather torrid journey there, he meets a Dutch man who helps him on his way. It is a vivid picture of what life was like in the wilds of the fens.

He travels to Buckinghamshire where earlier in Elizabeth's reign some rather horrific exorcisms took place by some Catholic clergy and he goes to Cornwall in search of a girl, to meet a woman (the romantic element of this book) and perhaps to thwart a Spanish invasion?

I cannot say anymore or I would give the plot away. Cecil's spy ring is shaken to the core by this book.

There are some strong willed ladies - not just in John Shakespeare's own household but also as part of the Queen's household. And of course the ever-faithful Boltfoot Cooper carries out the orders of John throughout.

John's brother Will does not have a very large part in this novel - although his players both ex and current do feature somewhat.
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By Champollion VINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Heretics" is the latest book by Rory Clements in his sixteenth century thriller series, featuring John Shakespeare, an 'intelligencer' who works for Sir Robert Cecil, having previously been an agent for Francis Walsingham.

It is set in the 1590's, and similar to his previous novels, involves a conspiracy, against the State, but, on this occasion, it is to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. The plotters are Catholics, involving priests who manipulate young women under the guise of exorcising their 'demons.'

The author creates a vivid and authentic Tudor landscape, and the narrative is carried along with pace as John Shakespeare hunts down his quarry. Clements books are clearly well researched and expertly structured into an engaging and compelling story.

Although, as source material, the rich mine of the world of the Tudors has been explored before, Rory Clements has a distinctive voice, and an interesting character in John Shakespeare, who has developed into a more credible, assertive and ruthless individual. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like historical thrillers then I can recommend this. John Shakespear (brother of William) is our main protagonist and we follow him as he tries to foil a Spanish plot, the objective of which only becomes clear later on in the book. It seems like the book has caught a good flavor of Elizabethan England and the descriptions of London, for example, ring true although I am no expert on the period.

I caught on to what was happening before the end but not very long before so I think that overall the author did a good job of building up some suspense but also of putting in enough information that the reader can solve the puzzle. This is what I look for in a puzzle story, you can either solve it or can see that you should have solved it. If I do not solve it I want to think "doh, should have seen that", not "how could I possibly have got to that".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed "The Heretics", it read like a genuine spy thriller albeit set in the Elizabethan era. Our hero, John Shakespeare, is alerted to a plot against the state which, initially, he doesn't take seriously and, by the time he does, his source goes missing. At the same time he is given a task, to seek out a missing girl, the victim of fanatical religious rites. In this adventure we are taken to the dangerous Fenlands in an era when they were still liable to serious flooding, and to the coast of Cornwall under assault by the Spanish. We are placed in the company of elegant yet pampered ladies of the Court, conflicting religious mania and intrigue. We are led this way and that as we follow Shakespeare's investigations, witness violent assault and the steady elimination of the English spy system as would grace the murky world of the Cold War.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the latest in a series of historical thrillers featuring swashbuckling anti-hero John Shakespeare, government agent and brother of the more famous Will.
It's been a resounding success in its own right, so quite why Clements' publishers keep feeling the need to compare it to CJ Sansom's towering Shardlake series is beyond me. The cover of this one features a quote from a Sunday Times reviewer who claims it "does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's". Superficially that's true, I suppose, in that both series feature murderous plots which threaten the Tudor throne, with plenty of real historical characters and lashings of period detail to bring them to life.
But only up to a point. Clements' fans have given this latest one glowing four and five star reviews, and I quite enjoyed it, too. With its wide assortment of characters, short cinematic scenes, and wealth of plot twists, red herrings and false endings, this story of the race to foil a Catholic plot to assassinate the ageing Elizabeth I would make an excellent tv serial - but only if a clever casting director found a charismatic actor to bring Shakespeare to life (as John Thaw did with Inspector Morse).
Because it's all about the plot. The characters are believable, but paper-thin - all they do is move the plot along (promising new faces like Shakespeare's adopted son Andrew, and his streetwise friend Ursula, come and go without making much of an impression) so it's hard to care very much about anyone, even the protagonist. After five books, Shakespeare is getting to be a bit more familiar but you still don't get under his skin: the scenes with his family and his household are too perfunctory to make him a more rounded character.
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