London, 1670. The completion of his new project could not have run more smoothly for Christopher Redmayne. Commissioned to design a new house for Francis Polegate, a merchant, Christopher is pleased that everything has gone without a hitch. To celebrate the success of the venture, Polegate throws a party and invites Christopher as an honoured guest. Also invited are Susan Cheever, Christopher’s sweetheart, her father, Sir Julius Cheever MP, and Bernard Everett, Polegate’s brother-in-law. But the party comes to an abrupt end when one of the guests is murdered upon leaving the house . . . With blood staining the doorstep of his new creation, Christopher can’t help but feel involved. With the help of his good friend, the Puritan Constable Jonathan Bale, and his dissolute brother, Henry, Christopher vows to find the killer and bring him to justice. However, preliminary investigations suggest that the victim was a well-liked man with no known enemies. Could it therefore have been a case of mistaken identity? In which case, just who was the intended target?
"A gripping saga set in the confusing world that followed Charles II's return to the throne of England. Set in London 1670, architect Christopher Redmayne is celebrating the success of his latest design: a house for merchant Francis Polegate. The only problem is that when Polegate's brother in law, Bernard Everett MP leaves the house he is shot dead. The party comes to an abrupt end. Christopher Redmayne finds himself inevitably drawn into the task of finding the identity of Everett's murderer. The list of those who wanted him dead are quite numerous - he was somewhat outspoken and had radical views. To make matters worse, Everett's close friend Sir Julius Cheever (and the father of Redmayne's sweetheart) comes under attack. There are attempts on his life as well as attempts to destroy his character. What is the connection? A convoluted plot leads to an unexpected twist in the very last sentences. You think all the answers have been found and then comes the surprise. The momentum is brilliantly kept up throughout the story. You can really smell and feel the tension amid a confusing political situation where very different political views are beginning to learn to live with each other. A book to relax with yet guaranteed to keep you reading until the very last page. Characterization is believable; the people seem to leap off the page. Well worth reading for its glimpses into Stuart London and the boisterous court of King Charles as well as for its very engrossing storyline. "
Monsters and Critics