A Masterpiece of Corruption is the second book in the series to feature lawyer John Grey and is set in 1657 during the reign of Cromwell. This time around whilst trying to resume his legal career John Grey finds himself drawn into a situation where he becomes a double agent as well as becoming involved in an assassination plot to kill the Lord Protector. Will he survive playing this dangerous game or will he find himself dragged into an all-encompassing web of intrigue.
In this latest book L C Tyler has once again written a story, which will no doubt be welcomed with open arms by fans of historical crime fiction. John Grey is a likeable if somewhat naive character who is intelligent but also finds himself in a number of awkward positions where he is not sure if he will actually survive.
There is a certain amount humour (in fact just the right touch) in this book that is the trademark of the author and which ensures that the novel is not too overloaded with historical detail or dark, but still guarantees that A Masterpiece of Corruption is a well-written, engaging historical crime story. There is a really good sense of place and the characters are well fleshed out and appealing. Furthermore, the writing and storyline achieve what one has come to expect from a superbly written historical crime novel. A sense of intrigue, danger and historical nuance that makes this a wonderful read. John Grey is also an intriguing character and one whom I look forward to reading more about. In the annals of historical crime fiction John Grey is a most welcome addition.
A Masterpiece of Corruption by L C Tyler is out now (Constable, £19.99)
It is December 1657. John Grey, at his cramped desk in Lincoln’s Inn, is attempting to resume his legal career. A mysterious message from a ‘Mr SK’ tempts him out into the snowy streets of London and to what he believes will be a harmless diversion from his studies. Mr SK’s letter proves to have been intended for somebody else entirely and Grey finds himself unwittingly in the middle of a plot to assassinate the Lord Protector – a plot about which he now knows more than it is safe to know. Can he both prevent the murder and (of greater immediate relevance) save his own skin? Both the Sealed Knot and Cromwell’s Secretary of State, John Thurloe believe he is on their side, but he is unsure that either is on his. As somebody is kind enough to point out to him: ‘You are a brave man, Grey. The life of a double agent can be exciting but very short.’ Grey just has to hope that prediction is wrong.
More information about L C Tyler and his work can be found on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter @lenctyler