This review is from Douglas Horne, the #1 fan of "S. J. Parris" in the United States.
I couldn't stand to wait for months for the U.S. edition to be released, so I ordered from AmazonUK.
Just finished the book (read it in 2 days---couldn't put it down), and highly recommend it to others.
The setting of the book (in the raw and raucous Plymouth of the Elizabethan era) is quite different from the London and Oxford of the previous Bruno novels, and the characterizations of Bruno, Sydney, and Drake are well done and convincing. The author's research into Drake's career and character seems to have been considerable, and it paid off in a very believable third main character.
As usual in this series, there is a host of suspects for the murder of the hour, and by turns, all of them seen equally guilty at one point or another in the narrative. The reader goes on a roller coaster ride as the author focuses first on one suspect, then another, then another. This thriller is augmented by the return of an old nemesis from one of the prior novels.
As this book concludes, it leaves the reader wanting "more," and as soon as possible! Next stop: the Netherlands (for Sir Philip Sydney), and Paris (where Bruno will once again be literally surrounded by enemies).
The religious and political aspects of the "lost" Gnostic testament of Judas Iscariot were absolutely fascinating.