Lust, betrayal, secrets, murder... Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.
Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer to both Cromwell and Charles II, a mathematician, theologican and master spy; and Anthony Wood, the famous Oxford antiqary.
Each one tells their version of what happened but only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.
“A slippery thriller of audacious ingenuity”
Independent on Sunday
“The kind of book that has you reading it by torchlight under the bedclothes. An historical detective story set to rival "The Name of the Rose" it combines the rare pleasure of combining an intricate plot with insight into the political intrigues of Restoration England”
“Plenty of politics, high and low and the portrayal of college life and vicious, teeming with sycophants and thick with double dealing”
“Brilliantly researched and imagined...a remarkable achievement”
“Crammed with period detail, it's as much a novel of ideas as it is of character”
Val McDermid, The Week
“Anyone who reads this will want to tell their friends about it... This is a novel that combines the simple pleasures of Agatha Christie with the intellectual subtlety of Umberto Eco, don't let it pass by unread”