Book Review: The Parliament House by Edward Marston

A gripping saga set in the confusing world that followed Charles II’s return to the throne of England. Set in London 1670, architect Christopher Redmayne is celebrating the success of his latest design: a house for merchant Francis Polegate.

The only problem is that when Polegate’s brother in law, Bernard Everett MP leaves the house he is shot dead. The party comes to an abrupt end. Christopher Redmayne finds himself inevitably drawn into the task of finding the identity of Everett’s murderer.

The list of those who wanted him dead are quite numerous – he was somewhat outspoken and had radical views. To make matters worse, Everett’s close friend Sir Julius Cheever (and the father of Redmayne’s sweetheart) comes under attack. There are attempts on his life as well as attempts to destroy his character. What is the connection?

A convoluted plot leads to an unexpected twist in the very last sentances. You think all the answers have been found and then comes the surprize. The momentum is brilliantly kept up throughout the story. You can really smell and feel the tension amid a confusing political situation where very different political views are beginning to learn to live with each other.

A book to relax with yet guaranteed to keep you reading until the very last page. Characterization is believable, the people seem to leap off the page. Well worth reading for its glimpses into Stuart London and the roisterous court of King Charles as well as for its very engrossing storyline.

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