‘Early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland and England’. @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson.

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson

This novel’s background is factual; it centres around the early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland, led by Robert the Bruce, and England with its ineffectual King Edward II.  

Squire Benedict Russell has joined the English-held garrison of Berwick-on-Tweed, but soon finds that his attention is taken up by the murder of a young woman from a good family; he is given the task of finding her killer.

Rather than the murder mystery, it was the setting and the era that made me choose the book, as I love reading about both Plantagenet history and wars, and have been to Berwick several times. I did guess the identity of the murderer early on, but this did not matter because, for me, Benedict’s sleuthing activities came second to the book’s greatest strength: the intricate detail about the people and how they lived, their customs, beliefs, every day life, all woven so seamlessly into the narrative, which flowed so well. I’ve rarely read a piece of historical fiction that put me so much in the place and time.

There are a lot of characters, many with similar names so I admit to getting a tad confused at times.  I didn’t know which were real and which were fictional; a short ‘afterword’ might have been useful, so that the reader could discover which fictional characters were based on actual historical figures, etc, and what happened afterwards (though I did hit the internet for more information after I’d finished the book!).

F J Watson must surely be something of an authority on the history of the town; I’d say this book is a must-read for anyone who lives in Berwick and is interested in its past.  Fascinating; one of those novels that makes you want to go back in time and see it all. 

Incidentally, I discovered on my first visit to Berwick that most consider themselves staunchly English, to the extent that some pubs and shops have the English flag in the window, though everyone I spoke to behind bars and shop counters had a Scottish accent!

Desc 1

The year is 1317, and young squire Benedict Russell has joined the English-held garrison of Berwick-upon-Tweed after the spectacular Scottish victory at Bannockburn three years earlier.

Serious and self-doubting, he can’t wait for his time there to come to an end. Living on the disputed territory between Scotland and England is a precarious existence, and as the Scots draw ever closer and the English king does nothing to stop them, Benedict finds himself in a race against time to solve the brutal murder of a young girl and find the traitor who lurks within Berwick’s walls.

AmazonUK

5 thoughts on “‘Early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland and England’. @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson.

  1. Pingback: ‘Early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland and England’. @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson. - Us Viral Trending

  2. I enjoyed this book, too, Terry. So much so, that I would love to visit Berwick-upon-Tweed sometime. I am currently reading a history of Scotland and Berwick was the focal point for many of the back and forth raids and destruction.

    Liked by 1 person

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