cover image Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue

Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue

Rory Clements. Bantam, $25 (448p) ISBN 978-0-385-34284-1

Set in Elizabethan England, Clements's sequel to his debut, Martyr, raises him to the top rank of historical thriller writers. John Shakespeare, the playwright's older brother, has left the intelligence world behind to teach at a small school, but he's drawn back into the treacherous world of spying by two powerful and competing rivals%E2%80%94the earl of Essex and Queen Elizabeth's new spymaster, Sir Robert Cecil. Essex asks Shakespeare to find the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the colonists of Roanoke, Va. One of them has reportedly been seen walking the streets of London, and Essex wants the intelligencer to confirm or dispel those rumors. Meanwhile, Cecil, who fears that Essex's scheming threatens the monarch, seeks to have Shakespeare work as a double agent. Clements presents an intricate web of plots and subplots while vividly evoking the tenor of the times. Shakespeare makes a fascinating lead, perfectly suited to sustain what one hopes will be a long series. (July)