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The invention of fire / Bruce Holsinger.

By: Holsinger, Bruce W [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookDescription: 459 pages ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780007493357.Subject(s): Gower, John, 1325?-1408 -- Fiction | Great Britain -- History -- Richard II, 1377-1399 -- FictionGenre/Form: Suspense fiction.
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    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Fiction Hāwera LibraryPlus
Fiction HOLS (Browse shelf) Available i2141317
Fiction Pātea LibraryPlus
Fiction HOLS (Browse shelf) Available i2141316
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

London, 1386: young King Richard II faces the double threat of a French invasion and growing unrest amongst his barons - and now there's evil afoot in the City. Sixteen corpses have been discovered in a sewer, their wounds like none ever seen before. One thing is clear: whoever threw the bodies into the sewer knew they would be found - and was powerful enough not to care. Enter John Gower, poet and intellectual whose 'peculiar vocation' is dealing in men's secrets. Against the backdrop of medieval London with its grand palaces and churches, dark alleys and mean backstreets, Gower pursues his dangerous quarry. Seeking insights from his friend Geoffrey Chaucer and using his network of contacts, Gower comes to the shocking belief that the men have been killed by a new and deadly weapon of war. Known as 'the handgonne', it would put untold power into the hands of whoever perfected its design. But who has commissioned this weapon? A man who would stop at nothing to achieve his secret goal.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Holsinger's second historical thriller (after A Burnable Book) once again features John Gower, friend of Geoffrey Chaucer and fellow poet, who earns his bread by trading in dark secrets. In 1386 London few believe in the king, Richard II, whose kingdom is careening its way toward disaster: it's difficult to know whom to trust. Gower is called on to investigate the murders of 16 men, whose corpses have been found dumped in the stream below the Long Dropper, a public privy. Their bodies bear harsh wounds, as though pierced by cannonballs but of a much smaller bore than those then in use. Gower suspects the men were killed by a new kind of weapon, the handgonne, but who made them and why are unanswered questions. The search takes John on a dangerous quest, with a surprise at the end. VERDICT This excellent period mystery is narrated in a gloriously earthy language that is, long before Shakespeare and the King James Bible, still in the process of taking shape. Fans of the previous book as well as aficionados of the historical genre won't be able to put this novel down. [See Prepub Alert, 10/13/14.]-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Patron comment on 18/07/2015

This is a big book (459 pages) but the pace never slackens not the interest dwindle. Set in London during the reign of King Richard (fourteenth century) it features John Gower, a man who holds and sells secrets for a living. Also a poet and a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. Asked to investigate an especially gory and different series of murders, he runs up against the politics of the day, much more personal and nasty than they are now. Dealing with the invention of a new 'handgonne' (handgun) and the uses to which it may be put proves to be dangerous and very, very devious. The author obviously know his history and brings out the flavour of medieval London, warts and all, until you are almost walking the streets with John. The characters are given to us with all their qualities and their imperfections and the story unfolds in a logical manner, even if this isn't always immediately apparent. This is Bruce Holsinger's second book and I hope the library has, or will obtain, his first one. A really good historical mystery and highly recommended.

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