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Jacob's Justice

'Jacob's Justice' by p.d.r.lindsay

It's 1642, and England is tearing itself apart.  King against Parliament, King against religion, Parliament and Puritans against the King, politics and power heading for disaster.

Twenty-three year-old Jacob Emerick, the youngest son of the Merchants Emerick, shipping owners, and their legal man, is sent on a lawyer's mission to save the family's gold and ships.  He leaves cosmopolitan London for the narrow minded small Puritan town in Kent, where he must negotiate with the aristocratic Fowke family who want their loan paid back now, despite what the legal agreement says. The Fowkes want to give the money to the King. Corrupt King Charles wants the family's fortune, and loyalists to the King will do anything to help their despot. The extremist Puritans want the money and the Emerick ships too. Neither party cares how they get hold of the money and ships and Jacob is caught in the middle trying to preserve his family's honour and livelihood.

His journey barely begun, at a resting place on the trail Jacob finds the dead body of the Fowke lawyer with whom he was to work. It's a plain case of murder, and Jacob becomes the prime suspect. Jacob has to free himself from that charge, and fend off the treachery of Lady Fowke, as well as uncover the attempts of bigoted Puritans to take control of the Emerick ships.

Jacob navigates through the attentions of other loyalist thugs who ravage and murder, and the Puritan spy, who is just as determined to use his family's gold. In a few short weeks Jacob sheds the easy bravado of a privileged young man to become a powerful fighter for justice, and his own man, hoping for peace.

Review extracts

This is an historical fiction mystery set in the period of time leading up to the English Civil War, and told from the perspective of the ordinary man, a point of view not used enough in historical fiction. I particularly liked that the language is true to the time period in England, and it is used in a natural way so characters sound right for the time. The characters develop as the story is told, but it is Jacob's character that undergoes the most change, and in such a way you feel a part of his growing.

AND

Jacob Emerick is the lawyer for his merchant family. He's young, cocksure, and not particularly likable, but as he travels through this adventure that connects personal tragedy with the political turmoil of 1642, young Jacob matures and manages to endears himself to the reader.

Any reader of historical fiction will enjoy the detailed background to this novel I and will find herself immersed in the time period. The political situation is made clear, but also the reader is given a thorough and most enjoyable trip into the lines of ordinary people.

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