The Heirs of Owen Glyndwr
The year is 1969. A small group of Welsh nationalists have built a bomb planned to explode in Carnarvon castle just as Queen Elizabeth presents Prince Charles to the Welsh people as Prince of Wales. However, as one conspirator arrives at the castle with the bomb, the police surround the car and arrest him. The plan has gone awry. Worse, one of the conspirators, Trevor, is missing, and Trevor’s small son is in the car. Trevor’s wife, Arianwen, who is driving the car, insists she knows nothing about the conspiracy or Trevor’s whereabouts.
The first part of the book introduces the reader to the conspirators and their conspiracy and induces a sense of empathy with their cause. The rest of the book covers the preparations for the trial of Arianwen and two of the conspirators, along with the trial itself. Permeating the judicial wrangling are the questions: Where is Trevor? Did Arianwen know about the conspiracy or is she as innocent as she claims? Is her agony at being separated from her small son genuine or just a play to elicit sympathy?
This is the fourth book in the Ben Schroeder series by Peter Murphy. It explores the deeply held feelings of the Cymru (Welsh) people and their desire to be free of the oppressive British rule. It also captures the vast chasm between a deeply-held desire for independence and an abhorrence of violence.
Mainly, however, it is a courtroom drama, full of nuances between colleagues and opponents and subtly presented, legally correct innuendo. The basic premise of the book is profound and carried to a strong and satisfying conclusion with masterful characterization and dialog.
I found this book engrossing. Not only was it a pleasure to read, it presented a relevant and timely theme within an absorbing tale.