The Redemption of Alexander Seaton Hardcover – 3 Jul 2008
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'Such is the quality of the recreation, not only of the reeking ebb and flow of everyday life but also of the period mindset that it's easy to believe Satan is walking abroad ... this is an accomplished and thought-provoking debut' Guardian. (Guardian)
From the Inside Flap
Is the young man simply drunk or does his staggering walk suggest something more sinister? When he collapses in front of the two sisters on that dark, wet night, the women guess, rightly, that he's been poisoned.
So begins this gripping tale set in the town of Banff, Scotland, in the 1620s. The body of the victim, the apothecary's apprentice, is found in the house of Alexander Seaton - a fallen minister, the discovery of whose clandestine love affair has left him disgraced and deprived him of his vocation. Why was the body moved to Seaton's house? What is the significance of the unusual poison used to kill him? And why would anyone want to murder this likeable young man? Seaton sets out to find answers to these and many other questions, embarking on a journey where he encounters the witch hunt, extreme religious prejudice, cruelty and the darkness in men's souls. At the same time it is a redemptive quest for Seaton and one that will inevitably change him.
In this haunting and evocative novel, Shona MacLean has created a historical world that is so convincing that you feel you are in the cold, dark, northern rooms of her imagination, eavesdropping on her characters. The Redemption of Alexander Seaton is an unforgettable reading experience.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
One thing that would have really enhanced the book for me would have been the inclusion of a map of old Banff and the surrounding area.
The man who is dead is Patrick Davidson, Charles Thom's rival in love, making him the prime suspect. When Thom is arrested, Jaffray and Seaton vow to prove his innocence. During this novel, we are taken from the fishing town of Banff, to Aberdeen, the fine castle of the Laird of Straloch, the cave of a woman healer and the shacks of outcast beggars. Seaton must not only discover who killed Patrick Davidson, but try to uncover possible papist plots and, more importantly, come to peace with himself. This really is a very good start to a promising historical mystery series, with a great setting and interesting characters. I look forward to reading more novels featuring Alexander Seaton and the world he inhabits.
Initially, it took me a while to get into this book and there was a moment when I almost gave up but I am very glad that I didn't and went on to discover the joys of some seriously good writing. Set in a period of history that I am not very familiar with, I was intrigued, fascinated and at times horrified by the attitudes of the time with their anti-Catholic sentiments, the witch-hunts, superstitions and the appalling aftermath that results when these are mixed with small-town gossip, pettiness, jealousies and ignorance.
Alexander lives his life trying to keep as low a profile as possible after having fallen at the last hurdle in his desire to become a minister of the Kirk. We learn of his past as he tries to help his friend, accused of murder, prove his innocence. Alexander is a flawed young man but very likeable and honourable. His heart and intentions are definitely in the right place but he is being manipulated by forces that he has no knowledge of. The characters are all very well developed, even those with only a small part to play in the overall story (like the two prostitute sisters) and the writing itself is very atmospheric and full of historical detail which I greatly enjoyed.Read more ›
The book is set in 1626, a time when an uneasy peace holds sway in Scotland. All those pesky 16th century Queens are dead and the crowns of Scotland and England are united, though not yet their parliaments. The Protestants are in the ascendancy and the Kirk has a stranglehold on religion and morality, but the Catholics are still plotting, and looking to the great Catholic countries of Europe for support. And witch-hunting is still at its peak, led and encouraged by the more rabid members of the hellfire-and-damnation Kirk, often culminating in public burnings. Happy days!
MacLean has caught the feel of this time-period just about perfectly in my opinion. She gives the impression of knowing the history inside-out and her characters ring true as people living in this time. Seaton and Jaffray are on the more enlightened side, though of course the actual Enlightenment is still some way off, but MacLean doesn't fall into the trap of giving them anachronistically modern viewpoints. So, for example, while being horrified at the attitude of the mob to witch-burnings, they're not quite ready to deny the possibility of witchcraft and consorting with the Devil.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book, not great but keeps you turning the pages 'til the end.Published 6 months ago by A. Neill
First time I have read a book by this author, it won't be the last. A good read from start to finish.Published 7 months ago by peter purdy
The Redemption of Alexander Seaton does exactly what the title says, it leads us through the redemption of someone who looked set for a future as a minister until they were denied... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sandra W