The Ashes of London (James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 1) by Andrew Taylor #BookReview

Ashes of London


London, 1666. As the Great Fire consumes everything in its path, the body of a man is found in the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral – stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back.


The son of a traitor, James Marwood is forced to hunt the killer through the city’s devastated streets. There he encounters a determined young woman, who will stop at nothing to secure her freedom.


When a second murder victim is discovered in the Fleet Ditch, Marwood is drawn into the political and religious intrigue of Westminster – and across the path of a killer with nothing to lose…

My Review

Six years after Charles II regained the throne for the Stuart family, London went up in flames.  No-one feels safe in an environment where former Protestants, government agents and hidden Catholics live cheek by jowl.  We arrive in the city as old St Paul’s burns down, surrounded by onlookers; and there we meet our two protagonists, James Marwood, son of an extremist Puritan and Cat Lovett, the daughter of a renegade Protestant. Marwood narrates the majority of the story, but we also follow Cat’s perils, in the third person, as she is manipulated by her untrustworthy uncle.

In a realistic adventure through the narrow streets and ruins of London we follow Marwood’s attempt to please more than one master, looking for a murderer, seeking Cat and trying to protect his elderly father.  Meanwhile Cat, doomed to suffer the fate of many women in the past, decides to escape her uncle’s home and hides out as a maidservant.  The tortuous plot completely involved me in the Royal court, the rebuilding of St Paul’s and the underbelly of 17th century society.  A thrilling, convincing tale.

Andrew Taylor

A Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and the triple winner of the Historical Dagger. He has published over 45 books.

They include the international bestseller, The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); the Lydmouth detective series set in the 1950s; and The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

His most recent books are the Marwood and Lovett Restoration series. The Ashes of London was a Times/Waterstones number one bestseller. The sequels, The Fire Court, and The King’s Evil, have both been bestsellers. The fourth in the series, The Last Protector, will be published on 4 April 2020

The Ashes of London on Amazon UK

Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

4 thoughts on “The Ashes of London (James Marwood & Cat Lovett, Book 1) by Andrew Taylor #BookReview

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