Rebellion (The Hacker Chronicles)

Written by Philip Yorke
Review by Cindy Vallar

At forty-two, too young to die, Francis Hacker knows what awaits him when Prince Charles returns to London. Vengefulness and treason exact high retribution. It matters not that he was just a soldier, following orders. His faith, his belief in the rights of the common man, and his friendship with Oliver Cromwell led him down a path that ends with the hangman’s noose, while his beloved family must bear the stigma and hardships to come. From his prison in London in 1660, Hacker tells the story of how he lived and fought for his cause.

The narrative then returns to 1643, when ten months of civil war have torn asunder England, her people, even Hacker’s own family. The Royalists – including his two brothers – win each engagement. New tactics are needed to boost morale. Parliamentarian leaders negotiate with the Scots, and Francis undertakes a secret mission not fully comprehending the perils it will bring to his family and friends. Then he learns of a spy in their midst, and two murders, most foul, occur. Francis must unravel the mysteries. But knowledge, like betrayal, comes at a high cost.

This first book in The Hacker Chronicles takes place early in the war. The first-person, present-tense account is a quiet, simple narrative rich with emotion. Little is known about the real Hacker, yet Yorke breathes life into him. Like us all, he has frailties, but dearly loves his family and God. The secret mission, spy, and murder episodes may seem like separate interludes in the book; in actuality, they are as intricately and artfully interwoven as a spider’s web and no one is left untouched.