Monday, 12 April 2021

#Blogtour The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland

 It's my turn on the Blogtour The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland.

About the Author

Karen Maitland is an historical novelist, lecturer and teacher of Creative Writing, with over twenty books to her name. She grew up in Malta, which inspired her passion for history, and travelled and worked all over the world before settling in the United Kingdom. She has a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon. Visit

About the book

The first in an exciting new series from an expert writer at the height of her powers. Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep...

1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God’s vengeance. Others seek to take advantage.

In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel’s skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds. For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan’s lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy - and in pursuit of a killer.


On the back of a catastrophe that people think has been caused by an angered God or perhaps the foot soldiers of Satan, Daniel Pursglove is released from Newgate. The adviser to King James wants Daniel to find a lone elusive conspirator to the infamous Gunpowder plot. Instead he finds himself drawn into the hunt for a killer.

What I found incredibly intriguing was imagining how a natural catastrophe, such as the flood, tidal wave or the surge of 1606 would have been perceived a few centuries ago. In the 21st century we know why they happen, but are no less overwhelmed by the sudden appearance and the destruction such events leave in their wake.

In the 17th century it would have been perceived as an unnatural occurrence and connected to anything odd or inexplicable. Dots connecting people to witchcraft, which gives allowance to scapegoating. The author captures the superstition, paranoia and sense of comfort derived from blaming someone else.

It's a combination of historical crime and a mystery. It takes plenty of fact and fiction to create a riveting read that teaches and captivates at the same time. I really enjoyed the descriptive and often poetic prose. Maitland has a knack, although I do think it sometimes drifted off into a less structured style. Either way it was a great read.

Buy The Drowned City at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Headline Review: pub date 1st April 2021 | Hardback | £16.99. Available as ebook and audiobook. Buy at hive.

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