Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Faces of Darkness by Steven A. McKay.
Here’s the blurb
When a young noblewoman is brutally assaulted in her own manor house, two former outlaws decide they must solve the mystery, before things go too far…
CROFTUN, NORTHERN ENGLAND
WINTER, AD 1328
Lady Isabella de Courcy is found alone in a room bolted from the inside, unconscious, and with a dagger forced through her hand, but this is just the latest in a line of similar, terrifying incidents. For months now, she’s been stalked by some shadowy tormentor yet, bafflingly, the attacker has never been clearly seen by anyone, even Lady Isabella, and he seems to leave no trace of his movements.
Can the bailiff, John Little, along with the legendary friar, Robert Stafford, uncover the truth and, more importantly, will they be able to save the troubled victim before she ends up dead?
This new standalone novella from the author of The Druid sees the return of two much-loved characters from the Forest Lord series and is based on a shocking real-life case which remains, to this day, unsolved.Genre – Historical Fiction.
Steven A. McKay has delivered a gem of a story! I really thought McKay had shelved for good Robin Hood and his gang for new pastures.. turns out there’s still some stories left to be told and I couldn’t be happier.
We are back with Friar Tuck and Little John who are about to stumble upon a mystery.. and let’s be fair we all know Tuck.. he’s not one to walk away without getting to the bottom of things.
Little John in his role as bailiff is out to collect a fine and Tuck comes along for the journey. They soon learn of the plight of Lady Isabella, who is being terrorised and things seem to be escalating! There’s one issue though.. there’s no witnesses and no evidence that the individual exists..but there must be someone right?
John and Tuck do due diligence and secure the area.. with no issues found they go on their way… only to be called back as another frightful event has occurred.
It soon becomes clear that not everyone believes the stories they are being told by Lady Isabella.. things don’t add up.
Tuck is a good judge of character and soon seems to be getting somewhere.. you can see the cogs start to turn once the oil gets the gears going and it leads to a fast paced and gripping ending that packs a punch.
What I really enjoyed about this book.. it’s a perfect little mystery but with the authors fun and gritty edge.. and Tuck and John were the perfect duo. You’d be forgiven for raising an eyebrow.. you either want modern-day mysteries or straight up historical fiction right?..can you mix them? McKay certainly knows the recipe!
I’m going to put it out there now… I love these little novellas.. Can we have Will Scaflock back in the next please :).
Faces of Darkness offers an intriguing plot based around a real life event, balanced with wit from both Tuck and John.. add in the perfect pace and you’ve got a winner!
McKay knows what his readers want.. everything he offers us is pure brilliance and while we may not see the gang around that much it was so good to be back!