The Turn of Midnight (Last Hours)

Written by Minette Walters
Review by Lisa Redmond

The sequel to Minette Walters’ thrilling and suspenseful The Last Hours proves a wonderful conclusion to her enthralling tale of a Dorset village and its people during the Black Death. Walters made her first foray into historical fiction with her tale of Lady Anne and her people, and in this second volume she continues the tale as the people of Develish face the winter of 1348 and spring of 1349 with dwindling stores. Lady Anne has sent Thaddeus in search of food and information, along with a group of young men from the village, and together they have come up with a plan that could help to ensure a safe and prosperous future for the demesne and its people. But they have an enemy in their midst, and they will have to outwit him if their plan is to work.

Walters paints a compelling portrait of medieval life and its structures as the devastation of the plague takes hold and throws the social order into disarray. Despite a growing cast of characters and a complex plot, the pace never flags. The time the author puts into developing the variety of minor characters only serves to enrich the overall narrative, making a compelling and enthralling read. A must for fans of Kate Mosse, C.J. Sansom, and Sarah Dunant.