One Minute Book Review – An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears


A thoroughly researched historical mystery set mainly in Oxford in 1663 against the religious and political turmoil following on from the Protectorate and the restoration of Charles II. It deals with a suspicious death and the ensuing trial from four differing viewpoints. None of the narrators is completely reliable but each retelling reveals new aspects of the central events, also changing the reader’s view of what has happened and the nature of the characters involved. Although not a quick read as the language approximates 17th century written English, the story is utterly compelling . The narrators, who are based on historical characters, are believable and their attitudes in keeping with the times.

Detailed reviews can be found here and here.

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