The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

1666. As the city burns, the hunt for a killer begins…

I’ve just finished reading The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor.

This is an engaging historical thriller, set during The Great Fire of London. If you’re a fan of C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake series then you’ll enjoy this.

The story is told from two alternating perspectives; a third-person narrator and from the point of view of James Marwood, who is trying to hunt down a murderer.

The descriptions of London are so vivid that it is easy to picture yourself there, walking among the smouldering ruins after the Great Fire has ripped through the heart of the city.

The blurb:

The noise was the worst. Not the crackling of the flames, not the explosions and the clatter of falling buildings, not the shouting and the endless beating of drums and the groans and cries of the crowd: it was the howling of the fire. It was the voice of The Great Beast itself.

London, 1666: a city in flames…

As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, even the great cathedral and as the embers smoulder, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s – stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.

A woman on the run…

The son of a traitor, James Marwood is a reluctant government informer, forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom.

A killer seeking revenge…

When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster.

At a time of dangerous internal dissent, Marwood’s investigation will lead him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined and vengeful woman.

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