The King’s Justice
by E.M Powell
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Thomas & Mercer
Paperback & eBook; 288 Pages
Series: Stanton and Barling #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
A murder that defies logic—and a killer on the loose.
England, 1176. Aelred Barling, esteemed clerk to the justices of King Henry II, is dispatched from the royal court with his young assistant, Hugo Stanton, to investigate a brutal murder in a village outside York.
The case appears straightforward. A suspect is under lock and key in the local prison, and the angry villagers are demanding swift justice. But when more bodies are discovered, certainty turns to doubt—and amid the chaos it becomes clear that nobody is above suspicion.
Facing growing unrest in the village and the fury of the lord of the manor, Stanton and Barling find themselves drawn into a mystery that defies logic, pursuing a killer who evades capture at every turn.
Can they solve the riddle of who is preying upon the villagers? And can they do it without becoming prey themselves?
I won’t say too much about the actual plot about this book because, as with good mystery novels, much of the plot has spoilers. Nevertheless, I do have a lot to say about this book. Even though it is a historical fiction novel in a time period that I haven’t learned too much about, there were still some historical facts that I was able to catch. For example, the prisoners were tried by being placed into water. If they floated, they were guilty. If they sank, they were innocent. This was the logic of a society run by the church because in their eyes if a man was guilty God would not allow him to sink “naturally” but would “force” him to float. The main flaw was that a person could be deemed innocent by sinking, but then still drown from being forced to be underwater for such a long period of time. When the novel started out this way, I knew that I was in for a treat. The story was just as interesting and filled with little details like this throughout.
My only complaint was small, and it was about the pacing. I personally believed that the story started off slow and took a while to speed up. Once it did, it was definitely worthwhile, and I was truly able to immerse myself in the world of England in the 1100s. In this way, the pacing wasn’t perfect for me, but it wasn’t horrible.
The character development was amazing. Stanton doesn’t think much of himself at the beginning, but he realizes that he has more power than he thinks as the story progresses. I loved learning more about him. The world-building was not tedious, but it did exist. When description was added, it opened up the world and allowed me to “see” where the characters were.
I didn’t see any editing errors in this novel. One thing that I can compliment is the fact that the paragraphs on the pages were so even! I know that it seems like a strange thing to compliment, but it was just so satisfying reading a book and looking at so neat and organized pages.
I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction/mystery novels! This one is definitely going onto my permanent bookshelf.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars
About the Author
E.M. Powell’s historical thriller Fifth Knight novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers. The King’s Justice is the first novel in her new Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. She is a contributing editor to International Thriller Writers’ The Big Thrill magazine, blogs for English Historical Fiction Authors and is the social media manager for the Historical Novel Society.
Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she now lives in North-West England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.
Blog Tour Schedule
Friday, June 1
Interview at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 4
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Wednesday, June 6
Review at The Writing Desk
Thursday, June 7
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Tuesday, June 12
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, June 13
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather
Saturday, June 16
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Friday, June 22
Review at Broken Teepee
Monday, July 2
Interview at Reading the Past
Tuesday, July 3
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, July 5
Review at Bri’s Book Nook
Friday, July 6
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Monday, July 9
Review at A Book Geek
Wednesday, July 11
Review at Jaffa Reads Too
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 6 paperback copies of The King’s Justice! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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