The House of Lamentations (Damian Seeker 5)

Written by S.G. MacLean
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

By the summer of 1658, it is clear that the reports of Damian Seeker’s death were greatly exaggerated… In truth, this most cunning of Cromwell’s spies lives in Bruges, masquerading as a carpenter to better keep an eye on the town’s Royalist refugees. Among them are the handful of destitute Cavaliers still haunting the once Royal residence of the Bouchoute House, and Sister Janet, the elderly, sharp busybody managing the local English convent.  It is a nearly boring life, and Seeker would much rather go back to England – until a noblewoman from Sister Janet’s past arrives with a large sum of money meant for the King’s meagre coffers, just as a young Englishman seeking his sister is found dead, and news come of a Royalist she-intelligencer sent to smoke out Seeker’s double agent at the Bouchoute house. Can Seeker make sense of all these threads and a few more, all somehow tied to the upscale brothel known as the House of Lamentations, before his cover is busted? Fifth (and the final volume) in a series, this gripping whodunit-cum-spy-story is filled with interesting characters trying to outsmart each other (and being occasionally naïve) against a vividly atmospheric setting.