Book Review: The Reckoning by M.J. Trow
This is apparently the 11th - and definitely the last - in a series apparently featuring playwright Christopher “Kit” Marlowe as a spy/amateur detective. When one of the ‘players’ for his latest play is killed in an unexpected and brutal way, Kit realises there is a lot more at stake than the usual risk of being pelted with rotten fruit if the audience don’t care for the performance.
Having not read any of the previous books in the series, I’m unsure whether that would have made any difference as to my understanding of what the heck was going on here. Or what even was the point of this book. Marlowe didn’t seem too worried about any of the four deaths which occurred, the solution falling into his lap seemingly by chance at the end of the book, just before an exceedingly shocking conclusion, one which, in effect, seeks to explain what may have actually happened in a real historical context.
I still haven’t got the faintest idea what was going on here. Historically, this is a great read; it never felt anachronistic for the time period and there were lots of great little details which really made it feel authentically Elizabethan, but the actual storyline seemed a complete muddle. Maybe it would make sense to a devotee of this series, but I was entirely lost. I’ll give it three stars, mainly for the quality of the historical writing, but I’m certainly not inspired to go looking for any of the author’s other work.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.