The Plague Road

Written by L.C. Tyler
Review by Ann Northfield

This novel is the third in the series following the fortunes and tribulations of John Grey, the first novel being A Cruel Necessity. Grey, now a well-known lawyer, is embroiled again in the political machinations endemic at the time. The year is 1665, and Grey’s life and that of many others are further complicated by the arrival of the Plague. All those who can flee London have done so, but travel has been made more difficult by the suspicion and fear of those desperate to avoid this deadly disease. The plot centres on a mysterious letter for which various people are prepared to pay a high price, or if all else fails, kill.

Real people such as Pepys and Lord Arlington pop up, and fictional and true facts are enmeshed to create an entertaining and tense yet humorous tale. In particular, Tyler’s one-liners are very droll, and serve to highlight the absurdity of many situations the hapless hero finds himself in, in his attempts to convey the letter, and also a man with a secret, to his employer. Grey is accompanied in his quest by his childhood friend Aminta, and their bickering adds to the fun, as do the various twists and turns, betrayals and double-crossing. Fans of Tyler will be very happy with this latest instalment, and readers new to this author are in for a treat. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward very much to the next.