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The Seeker: The Seeker 1 Paperback – 12 July 2016
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- Publisher : Quercus; 1st edition (12 July 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1782068430
- ISBN-13 : 978-1782068433
- Dimensions : 13.02 x 2.54 x 19.69 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 317,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Like many of us here, I’m a huge Shardlake fan and only found this author because her books were recommended to me as a Sansom reader. Well - Shardlake this ain’t! The plot is almost non-existent and I really struggled to finish the book. The characterisation is not a patch on Sansom’s: we are told so little about Damian Seeker that we don’t really care about him one way or the other. He has no home life and we are told almost nothing of his background. I know that’s partly the idea: we’re meant to wonder about him, but there’s just nothing to make a reader warm to him at all. Far from finding him intriguing I just found him dull.
There are some fine descriptions in the novel, particularly those of the London coffee houses, but that’s not enough to make me want to read the next novel in the series.
Overall, a disappointing read.
There are two major attractions here. First, the story is set in the Commonwealth/Protectorate Why are so many writers, both of fiction and non-fiction, fixated on the Tudors. There are many other far more interesting periods n our history waiting for some attention and one of them is here. Here, in the 1600s was a country grappling with the problems of government and indeed succession without a king. Further, there was a prospective king hovering in the background to muddy the water. If anyone needed security it was Cromwell and the government.
Secondly, the main character The Seeker (what a silly name) is the head of Cromwell`s personal security. Notice that. He is not concerned with the detection of crime except insofar as it relates to security. Authors who place criminal investigation in any period prior to the Victorian are sadly in error. Here is a man doing a job firmly set in its period.
As one gets into the story then, there appear believable characters in believable situations that we can empathise with. At least I can, otherwise I wouldn`t have bought the next book in the series. It will be interesting to see how these well rounded, living characters develop in future stories.
It was interesting to read about life for people in the Commonwealth. I enjoy that aspect of historical novels - learning something about the period and the lives of ordinary people. And The Seeker certainly ticks that box with well fleshed out characters and interesting descriptions of the lives of people from all strata of the society back then.
But what kept me reading the most was Seeker’s character himself. Like Matthew Shardlake in CJ Sansom’s books, if you can develop some sympathy for the humanity of the principal characters, then I’ll keep turning the pages. While Seeker may have a hard shell, his heart was in the right place. I do find nothing more off-putting about books or films, if the core values and principles of the main characters repulse you. But The Seeker has an empathetic humanity at his heart.
While it didn’t have quite the depth (or more epic length and story arc) of the Shardlake books, the story was still well constructed with nuanced characters, each with their own motivations. The book had heart and was enjoyable enough to explore more of the series.
At the beginning of the book you'll notice a real informative Historical Note of England in AD 1654, followed with a great list of Dramatis Personae, before it starts off with an intriguing prologue.
Story-telling is of a top-notch quality, the characters, whether they are real historical or fictional figures, come all vividly to life within this great mystery.
The main story starts off on the 1 November, AD 1654, the first year in the reign of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the English Commonwealth.
Main character of this series is a man who goes by the name of Damian Seeker, a man no one knows what's his real name is and where he comes from, but all know him for sure as the Agent of the Lord Protector.
The story starts when news is spreading about the murder of John Winter, Lieutenant in the New Model Army, who's been found in the corridors of Whitehall by Elias Ellingworth, a lawyer from profession, and who's standing over John Winter's bleeding body with the knife in his hand, and thus the accusing finger of guilt will be pointed at Elias.
What will follow is a very intriguing and compelling mystery, with a great plot, and in which Seeker will do anything to find the "true" killer of this murder and bring him to justice.
Very much recommended, for this is a rich and engaging historical story, and one that's in my opinion: "A Tremendous Thrilling Mystery"!