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Last edited: 19/06/2021
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Claire Letemendia
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The Best Of Men
hardcover
680 pages
Historic novel set in England, 1642. The Country is on the brink of Civil War as the Royalist and Parliamentarians seem unable to move from their respective positions. Negotiations for a peaceful outcome do not look hopeful and the English gentry have to decide who they will side with in an argument that is about not only the power of the Crown but also with a strong undercurrent of religion.

Returning from various adventures in Europe is Laurence Beaumont, son of a Lord. Beaumont is a rebel, trying to find himself but also intelligent, fast thinking and with an eye for the ladies.
England is awash with plots, duplicity and intrigue as Beaumont finds himself helping Secretary of State Lord Falkland uncover a plot to kill the King. In the mix we have ciphers, politics, attractive women and eventually battle starts to rage between the opposing sides.

Now, my taste in historical fiction normally sits with the likes of Bernard Cornwall, Simon Scarrow and James McGee so this is hard for me to compare, but I think the author has done a fantastic job with a fast moving, gripping and involving tale. Much of the action takes place near places like Oxford and Farringdon, and Ms Letemendia very much brought that to life for me.

Although with a strong and accurate historical base, the author wisely resists the temptation to cram in lots of historical figures, but sticks with a few and does them well. It is the perfect blend of history, action, intrigue, bed hopping and a very light touch of the mystic.

I'm thinking a Hollywood version can't be far off, but till then I wouldn't put off reading it.
Highly Recommended!
9/10
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