Wonderful and sweeping, with a fabulous sense of place and history * Kate Mosse on The Last Hours * An enthralling account of a calamitous time, and above all a wonderful testimony to the strength of the human spirit. I was caught from the first page. -- Julian Fellowes on The Last Hours A vividly-wrought and powerful story. With The Last Hours, Minette Walters has brought her impressive skill as a writer of psychological crime to create a dark and gripping depiction of Medieval England in the jaws of the Black Death. -- Elizabeth Fremantle on The Last Hours A staggeringly talented writer. * Guardian * A seductive writer with an imagination that makes her dangerous to know * Sunday Express * Minette Walters is a master at building engrossing tales around a single, life-shattering event. * Washington Post * Atmosphere, imagination and narrative power of which few other writers are capable * The Times *
When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly.
The Church proclaims it a punishment from God but Lady Anne of Develish has different ideas. With her brutal husband absent, she decides on more sensible ways to protect her people than the daily confessions of sin recommended by the Bishop. Anne gathers her serfs within the gates of Develish and refuses entry to outsiders, even to her husband.
She makes an enemy of her daughter by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs...until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by their ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat?
Compelling and suspenseful, The Last Hours
is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance against the worst pandemic known to history. In Lady Anne of Develish - leader, saviour, heretic - Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date.