Publisher: Independently Published
Published: Jan 6 2021
Height: 0.41 Width: 5.00 Depth: 7.99
'Away from the corruption of London and no longer a Justice, but that doesn't stop Belstrang uncovering dark deeds in this Jacobean thriller. A joy from mysterious beginnings to a satisfying conclusion by a master storyteller.' Paul Walker
Susanna Cobbett, teenage daughter of a powerful Worcester landowner, is found dead in a gloomy woodland pond which has an evil reputation as the Witching Pool. The girl is said to have drowned herself, driven to madness by a local widow named Agnes Mason, who is arrested on a charge of witchcraft. If found guilty, she will hang at the next Assizes.
But Justice Belstrang, shrewd ex-magistrate and sceptic, does not believe a word of it. And when Agnes's family beg him to help, he finds himself caught up in an ever-darkening mystery.
Another death follows: that of Susanna's lover, a young shepherd. He too is reported to have drowned himself at the Witching Pool, unable to face life without his beloved. But from local woodsman Ned Berritt, Belstrang learns there's more to it - and when Berritt too is found dead soon after, he becomes even more determined to uncover the truth.
The mystery grows murkier, however, as Belstrang is pitted against his old rival Justice Standish.
But Belstrang's stubbornness and passion for justice drives him on. With the help of his friend and fellow-sceptic Doctor Boyd, he unravels the terrible crimes that have lain hidden behind the doors of the great manor of Ebbfield.
Belstrang must confront and apprehend his suspect - and risk his own life in the attempt.
Recommended for fans of Andrew Taylor, CJ Sansom and SJ Parris.
John Pilkington was born in Preston, into one of the oldest Lancashire families. He writes historical fiction as well as drama which has been adapted for radio, theatre and tv. He is the author of the Thomas the Falconer Mystery series.
Praise for John Pilkington:
'This tale of mysterious tragedy and sinister secrets casts its spell right from the start. And in Justice Belstrang, John Pilkington has created a wonderfully humane, and all-too human, central character. The writing is impeccable, the period evocation assured - fans of historical crime fiction are in for a treat.' Roger Morris
'In The Witching Pool, John Pilkington once again puts us in the amiable company of retired Jacobean Justice, Robert Belstrang, familiar from his earlier historical thriller Legacy. In this adventure, Belstrang forsakes the mean streets of London in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot, for the rural byways of Worcestershire nearer home. But instead of treason, he finds himself confronted with murder, witchcraft, unmentionable crimes and a quest for legendary gold. Breath-takingly tense and gripping. Simply impossible to put down.' Peter Tonkin
'A sturdy and entertaining historical for fans of Elizabethan mysteries.' Library Journal
'Pilkington's third Thomas the Falconer historical offers a real treat... This tale gives an authentic sense of Elizabethan life's visceral side with all its lawlessness and brutality, including a climactic battle.' Publishers Weekly
'The story moves at a great pace... it made a welcome change to discover Elizabethan England through the eyes of a lesser mortal.' The Historical Novels Review
'A spellbinding journey through the stinking slums and glittering palaces of Jacobean England.' Steven Veerapen