Day Of Wrath

Written by Iris Collier
Review by Ilysa Magnus

In her first historical crime novel, Iris Collier focuses on two seemingly discrete events: the murder of protagonist Nicholas Peverell’s loyal steward and the desire of King Henry VIII to dismantle the monasteries of England. We learn, as the action progresses, that these events are inextricably intertwined.

Plots and counterplots abound. People both integrally involved and tangentially related to the plots die at alarming rates. The plot to overthrow Henry VIII for his anti-papist policies is carefully woven into the storyline. In fact, Collier does a fairly good job of making the story interesting. Her description, for instance, of the tortures employed at the Tower of London are not merely accurate but palpably real.

Unfortunately, while attempting to remain historically accurate in the details of the plot, Collier forgets that we’re supposed to be in the sixteenth century. Within pages of starting the book, I found myself cursing audibly at Collier’s use of modern slang. When she began a piece of dialogue with the phrase, “What’s up?…”, I realized that I was going to have a difficult time not taking my red pen and slashing the dialogue to pieces. I’m not saying that an author needs to use antiquarian usage, but let’s try to be minimally consistent.