The Scar-Crow Men
PYR, Feb 1 2011, $16.00
In 1593 in London, Queen Elizabeth seems preoccupied though none of her inner circle of advisors knows about what as her Highness ignores the plight of her people as the Black Plague runs unchecked across the kingdom. While she hides behind the palace walls, an unknown adversary is methodically assassinating her spies with the new chief unconcerned unlike his late predecessor the late Sir Francis Walsingham who would have went after the killer.
When a devil appears looking like Will Swyfte’s beloved Jenny in the middle of the opening production of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, the agent further is stunned as the imp gives him a personal message. Even more shocking is when his friend and spy Marlowe is murdered. Will vows to identify the killer and bring this person to justice, his style, although he believes he knows his inquiry into the homicides of the spies especially that of his friend will lead to the Queen’s most dangerous and bitterest enemy the Unseelie Court.
The sequel to the Silver Skull is a superb Elizabethan fantasy that effortlessly blends the paranormal with the historical. For instance, the background has the Black Plague ravaging London with the source quite fascinating and uses Marlowe’s unexplained death in 1593 as pivotal point in the novel. Readers will relish Swyfte’s swift descent into hell as he has no allies even among the spies and faces incredibly powerful enemies who set in motion the supernatural and natural scheme to eliminate Elizabeth years ago. The Scar-Crow Men is a great late sixteenth century otherworldly alternate English thriller.