Destroying Angel: The Seeker 3

Written by S.G. MacLean
Review by Marina Oliver

In this, the third Seeker mystery, Damien Seeker is sent to Yorkshire, his native county, to prepare for the rule of the newly established Major-Generals, appointed to support Cromwell’s rule. Ordered to the small village of Faithly, he finds grudges and simmering resentment aplenty. The lord of the manor is Royalist, the constable is a vicious petty tyrant, and a young girl is poisoned by the deadly pure white mushroom, the destroying angel. The advent of the Trier to enforce Puritan practice, especially against the Vicar, is resented. On the second day Seeker meets him and recognises an old enemy. Can he trust anyone? Problems, including a deeply personal one, multiply, in York, on the moors, and in the village itself.

The alleyways of York, the desolate moors, and the simmering village emotions are vividly described, and there is a grim picture of the oppressive, vindictive regime, aimed at finding and punishing Royalists, being imposed on a frightened, subdued populace. Seeker, a tough old soldier, is portrayed as a sympathetic character who will twist the rules when he finds it necessary for justice. The background, whether village politics, the desolate moorland or the alleys of York are all vividly described.