"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.