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Tamburlaine Must Dieby Louise Welsh
Synopses & Reviews
Following on the heels of her provocative and heavily lauded debut novel of psychological suspense, The Cutting Room, Louise Welsh's much-anticipated follow up delivers another stunning thriller.
It's 1593 and London is a city on edge. Under threat from plague and war, it's a desperate place where strangers are unwelcome and severed heads grin from spikes on Tower Bridge. Paranoia and fear grip this great city's streets. Playwright, poet, spy, and man of prodigious appetites, Christopher Marlowe is working on his latest literary effort and enjoying the English countryside at his patron's estate. But this idyll is soon cut short by a message from the Queen. He must return immediately to London, for a killer has escaped from between the pages of Marlowe's most violent play and is scandalizing the city. In the ensuing three days, Marlowe confronts dangerous government factions, double agents, necromancy, betrayal, and revenge in his search for the murderous Tamburlaine.
Tamburlaine Must Die is the suspenseful adventure story of a man who dares to defy both God and his Queen — and discovers that there are worse fates than damnation.
"Christopher Marlowe, 'playwright, scenester, and celebrated wit,' was a superstar in Elizabethan London. Unfortunately for him, Elizabethan London was a risky place to attract notice. In Welsh's slim, taut follow-up to her 2003 debut, The Cutting Room, she reimagines the bitter end of the great dramatist's life, retold in his own words on the eve of his still-unsolved murder. The beginning of the end comes in the form of a messenger from the queen's Privy Council, summoning him back to the city from a comfortable ensconcement at his patron's country house. Turns out that heretical verses signed by Tamburlaine, his most famous (and famously ruthless) creation, have been turning up all over plague-decimated London in his absence. Faced with charges of heresy and blasphemy, Marlowe has an unspecified, 'but clearly short,' window of opportunity to offer up a more appealing scapegoat in his place. Welsh doesn't waste a word on any of the florid romanticizing so common in historical fiction: no heaving, corseted breasts or speeding steeds here. Just a hard, sharp little rapier of a thriller/mystery that packs a punishing schedule of sex, violence, wheeling and double-dealing into its brief length. The tension is unabated throughout this frantic, 72-hour dash among backstabbers, spies, murderers and prostitutes — even as Marlowe realizes that not even he will be able to talk his way out of this one." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Despite the catchy title, the thin plot will disappoint readers looking for the generic pleasures of the historical mystery." Kirkus Reviews
"[T]he narrative fails to convey adequately the sense of trepidation and urgency that one would expect from such a desperate man....The preponderance of description over action, a thin plot, and a predictable denouement also detract from the novella's suspense. Recommended." Library Journal
A sumptuous and thrilling historical murder mystery from a prize-winning and bestselling author.
A thrilling Elizabethan murder mystery starring Christopher Marlowe, a man with seventy-two hours to live, by the author of the sleeper hit The Cutting Room
Louise Welshs riveting, provocative debut novel of psychological suspense, The Cutting Room, was a tremendous international success, translated into sixteen languages, and The Guardian selected it as one of the five best debut novels of 2002. The New York Times Book Review called it, simply, a “knockout debut.” Her much anticipated follow-up is now upon us.
Its 1593 and London is a city on edge. Under threat from plague and war, its a desperate place where strangers are unwelcome and severed heads grin from spikes on Tower Bridge.
Playwright, poet, spy, and man of prodigious appetites, Christopher Marlowe is working on his latest literary effort and enjoying the English countryside at his patrons estate when his idyll is cut short. A messenger from the queen and the nefarious Privy Council summons his immediate return to London. And in the following three days Marlowe confronts dangerous government factions, double agents, necromancy, betrayal, and revenge in his search for the murderous Tamburlaine, a killer who has escaped from between the pages of Marlowes most violent play. Tamburlaine is scandalizing London, mocking its leaders and institutions, and fomenting unrest. Marlowe, desperate and perplexed by who could be using his own character as a mouthpiece to destroy him, must confront his creation, or die.
Tamburlaine Must Die is the gripping, seventy-two hour adventure story of a man who dared to defy both God and his queen—and discovers that there are worse fates than damnation.
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