After the misery of Oliver Cromwell’s republican ‘Protectorate’, following the execution of Charles I, his son is restored to the throne. Britain thankfully returns to monarchy. King Charles II is different to his father. He is roguish, and nicknamed ‘The Merry Monarch’, loving festivities, gambling and horse racing. His Queen, Catherine, fails to produce an heir, yet he has many mistresses and fathers several illegitimate children. Highly intelligent, he has innumerable interests and furthers both science and astronomy. Although much happier, his reign has problems. Essentially needed is a balanced religious tolerance between Catholics, Protestants and, alarmingly, the rebellious Nonconformists, whose terrorist ‘Fifth Monarchy Men’ pose constant threats. Amongst these is another ‘Rogue’, religious fanatic, womanizer, kidnapper, suspected ‘double agent’ and a thief renowned for the most spectacular heist, ever, for which he should have been executed. Instead, as one of our greatest mysteries, he is pardoned by the King.
Like all English villages, the quiet and charming Thorpe Amberley in the heart of the Suffolk countryside has its secrets, its mysteries and its legends. It also has its traditions, such as the Tamberley Morris Men, a dysfunctional band of ‘blow-ins’, mainly professionals, who rehearse every Thursday and drink in the local pub.
Nothing much has served to disturb the tranquillity of Thorpe Amberley for centuries. Until now. A stunningly beautiful American woman comes to the village to teach at a nearby school, and her arrival coincides with the resurrection of deadly seeds of jealousy, evil and murder.
When the village is rocked by a series of gruesome and apparently ritualistic killings, it soon becomes clear that the local police are up against dark forces which they are wholly unequipped to deal with. Unlikely help comes from the shamanistic connection with a Patagonian ‘Machi’ through the Morris Men’s ‘Squire’ and the unexpected assistance of an ex-NYPD policeman.
A hunt for not one, but two serial killers, is on, and Thorpe Amberley will never be the same again.
Uncle Toby had said that there would be castles to explore, with ghosts and things. This helps to cheer up the glum twelve-year old Lovell twins, Tom and Mary, as they leave their schools and loving parents to be evacuated to wild Northumbria during World War II.
Then the adventure begins. They live with their Aunt Victoria and uncle Leslie, meet the lovable ‘Mrs M’, a strange dog called ‘Scamp’ and, worst, the terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart, from whom they run away to find their mysterious castle.
Now they are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. Yet, this is only the beginning of more unexpected tragedies before the twins begin to escape from it all.