The Last Hours by Minette Walters

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With The Last Hours, she has swapped that taut plotting for a more expansive structure and ambitiously broad canvas. Whether it will win over her previous fans remains to be seen but, as the inhabitants of Develish discover, striking out for the unknown is a worthwhile adventure, whatever the outcome.
-Guardian

Synopsis

When the Black Death enters England through the port in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is—or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from the manor when news of this pestilence reaches her, she looks for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. She decides to bring her serfs inside the safety of the moat that surrounds her manor house, then refuses entry to anyone else, even her husband.

Lady Anne makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband’s steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs...until food stocks run low. The nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat again?

Compelling and suspenseful, The Last Hours is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance set against the worst pandemic in history. In Lady Anne of Develish—leader, savior, heretic—Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date.
 

About Minette Walters

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Minette Walters is the author of fourteen suspense novels and the winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the CWA John Creasey/New Blood Dagger Award, among others. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages.
 
Published August 1, 2018 by MIRA. 576 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Crime. Fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Stephanie Merritt on Nov 01 2017

With The Last Hours, she has swapped that taut plotting for a more expansive structure and ambitiously broad canvas. Whether it will win over her previous fans remains to be seen but, as the inhabitants of Develish discover, striking out for the unknown is a worthwhile adventure, whatever the outcome.

Read Full Review of The Last Hours | See more reviews from Guardian

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