Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Demon's Parchment-Jeri Westerson

The Demon's Parchment

Jeri Westerson

Minotaur, Sep 27 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9780312609269

In 1384 London, disgraced former knight Crispin “The Tracker” Guest earns a living finding missing things for clients. His assistant young street urchin Jack Turner tells him a man is outside acting as if he has doubts about entering their facility. Provencal Jewish doctor to the queen Jacob wants to hire the Tracker to locate and return to him stolen Hebrew manuscripts that the foreigner believes may be tied to some recent gruesome murders. Additionally, London sheriffs want Guest to track down a vicious serial killer who has strangled and disemboweled four boys.

Although he prefers to decline both cases, Guest needs the income so he begins his search for the documents and a serial killer. He soon finds the two investigations merge as Jacob implied they would when Guest meets a nasty giant who may be the mythical Golem protecting the Jews by killing those who would harm them.

In his third medieval tracking mystery (see Veil of Lies and Serpent in the Thorns), Guest is at his best as he works two inquiries that merge into a deadly scenario. The fast-paced story line brings alive late fourteenth century London during the reign of King Richard II. Adding depth is to see the city through the eyes of a visiting Jewish professional who performs a mitzvah to help his people but will learn from Guest that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Harriet Klausner

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