> Skip to content
  • Published: 15 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780593076248
  • Imprint: Bantam Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $39.99

The Incendium Plot

For fans of C J Sansom, S J Parris and Rory Clements, a tense historical thriller set against the backdrop of treason and terror in Elizabethan England . . .

Summer, 1572 and England is vulnerable. Fear of plague and insurrection taint the air, and heresy, fanaticism and religious unrest seethe beneath the surface of society. Rumour and mistrust lead to imprisonment, torture and sometimes murder. To the young lawyer Christopher Radcliff and his patron and employer, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the prospects for peace are poor. As Leicester's chief intelligencer, Radcliff is charged with investigating both rumours of rebellion at home and invasion from abroad. That the queen's own cousin, the Duke of Norfolk, is found guilty of treason is a sign of just how deep the dissent goes. Supporters of the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots foment revolt, but the papist threat doesn't just come from within. Across the channel, France is being swept up in a frenzy of brutal and bloody religious persecution while England's other enemy of old, Spain, makes preparations to invade. Christopher's own life is far from orderly. His relationship with the widow Katherine Allington is somewhat turbulent and he knows full well that the cut-throat world of court politics leaves no room for indiscretions. So England is a powder-keg, waiting for a spark to ignite it. And then a whisper of a plot that could provide that spark reaches Christopher. All he has to go on is a single word - 'incendium'. But what does it mean and who lies behind it? He must find the answers before it is too late . . .

  • Published: 15 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780593076248
  • Imprint: Bantam Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $39.99

About the author

A D Swanston

Andrew Swanston read law at Cambridge, but was inspired to write by his lifelong interest in early modern history. His Thomas Hill novels – The King’s Spy, The King’s Exile and The King’s Return – are set against the backdrops of the English Civil War, Cromwell’s Commonwealth and the early Restoration respectively. He is also the author of Waterloo: The Bravest Man. The first in a new series of historical thrillers set during the reign of Elizabeth I, Incendium (published in paperback as The Incendium Plot) introduces academic, lawyer and intelligencer Dr Christopher Radcliff. Andrew Swanston lives in Surrey.

Also by A D Swanston

See all

Praise for The Incendium Plot

Radcliff is a wonderful character, resourceful and intelligent . . . Incendium perfectly combines history and fiction . . . I loved every page.


Lawyer Christopher Radcliff is an erudite outsider with an unusual past, who turns state spy in this colourful and gripping historical novel.


Beautifully done. All the sights, sounds and smells of Elizabethan England are there, along with an intriguing range of characters . . . Radcliff is clearly destined to appear in future books, and I think he's likely to gain some loyal fans.


Swanston clearly knows the period well and Radcliff is an engaging hero.

Antonia Senior, THE TIMES

Beautifully evokes the grimy and filthy streets of Elizabethan London and the plot canters along from the very first page . . . I cannot wait for the next one.


Historical fiction has never been hotter, and fans of S J Parris and Rory Clements will gulp it down in one.

COMPASS magazine

A colourful and gripping read in which you can almost smell the filthy Tudor River Thames.


I loved it . . . refreshing, engaging and never faltered from the first page to the last.


Really rich and beautifully written . . . if you’re a fan of Swanston’s other books, you’re going to absolutely love this.


Related titles