Corpus is published by Bonnier Zaffre on 26th January 2017. My thanks to the publisher and the author for the review copy.
Europe is in turmoil.
The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland.
In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror.
Spain has erupted in civil war.
In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.
In a London club, three senior members of the British establishment light the touch paper on a conspiracy that will threaten the very heart of government. Even the ancient colleges of Cambridge are not immune to political division. Dons and students must choose a side: right or left, where do you stand?
When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe - and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson...
Set against the drumbeat of war and moving from Berlin to Cambridge, from Whitehall to the Kent countryside, and from the Fens to the Aragon Front in Spain, this big canvas international thriller marks the beginning of a major new series from bestselling author Rory Clements.
This book was a bit of a challenge for me, I don't read very much historical fiction at all. It is something that I have always struggled with. It took me a while to settle into this book but once I was a couple of chapters in I was utterly absorbed and transported.
Rory Clements has cleverly written this book in a way that is accessible to all readers. The plot is tight and the story rolls along at a steady pace. This book is set in 1936 and our main character is Thomas Wilde. He is a history professor and he manages to find himself embroiled in some calamities. A young girl has been found dead, a syringe found by her side. Elsewhere a well to do couple are found horribly murdered. Thomas Wilde can't help wondering if the two things are connected.
Meanwhile on a national level there is more than a whiff of scandal as King Edward VIII has taken a mistress by the name of Wallis Simpson. This book is packed full of political intrigue. It is thrilling and exciting at the same time.
Set at a time of unrest within the world of politics, this provided a perfect backdrop for this story and its many twists and turns. I am in awe about the sheer amount of research that goes in to writing a novel of this stature and I am pleased to hear that there will be a second book in the series.
This book has managed to convert me into trying more historical fiction in the future.
About the Author:
RORY CLEMENTS won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award in 2010 for his second novel, Revenger. He is the author of the John Shakespeare series of novels which are currently in development for TV by the team behind POLDARK and ENDEAVOUR. Find out more at www.roryclements.co.uk
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