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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 31 January 2010

"Company of Liars" by Karen Maitland

As the Black Death strikes England a group of travellers (a relic-seller, a magician, two runaway lovers, a story-teller, a mid-wife, two musicians and weird wyrd rune-casting albino girl) flee before it. They all have a secret (they are all liars) and before their journey is through some will pay for it with their lives...

A very well-written historical ensemble novel with a bit of magic in the mystery. The characters are well drawn and the plot keeps moving. The details of the journey are engrossing, especially the shrine of John Shorne at North Marston which is a real place in Buckinghamshire just south of Winslow; the holy well is still there. The other places mentioned are also real.

I enjoyed the book and was interested to see how deftly she sketched the characters. I think the secret is to know the back story inside out and then the characters will begin to speak and interact for themselves; the plot then drives them through situations but they respond as real people.

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