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Traitor's Field (Archives of the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey #2)

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
It is 1648 and Britain is at war with itself. The Royalists are defeated but Parliament is in turmoil, its power weakened by internal discord. Royalism's last hope is Sir Mortimer Shay, a ruthless veteran of decades of intrigue who must rebuild a credible threat to Cromwell's rule, whatever the cost. John Thurloe is a young official in Cromwell's service. Confronted by the ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Corvus (first published January 1st 2013)
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Manda Scott
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while in that great, fast, awesome, magical sweep of historical fiction, amidst the rollicking story lines, tear-wringing denouements, multi-dimensional characters and astounding locations, wreathed in a sense of place.... just once in one of these, comes a novel where the sheer beauty of the prose lifts it into a different dimension. WOLF HALL was one of these, and if I'm less enamoured of BRING UP THE BODIES, it's only because i hate the fact that Mantel caved in to those who found t ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves an intense, suspenseful, and dramatic story
It isn't everyday that I come across a novel that wins my respect and earns a firmly favorable appraisal after a somewhat shaky start. Well,'Traitor's Field' is one of those novels with a cast of characters, who, as the novel progresses, surprise the reader through their (at times, startling) actions and range of emotions amid shifting canvases.

The novel begins with the discovery, in the present era, of a cache of letters from an agent of the Parliamentary cause in 17th century England (known a
Deborah Swift
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not for the faint-hearted. It took me a while to get into the writing style of episodic scenes and extracts from letters and documents of the time, but once I had it gave me a brilliant portrait of what life was really like in the English Civil War. Shot through with lies, subterfuge and double-dealing the plot unfolds organically and reader can never be sure who is telling the truth - exactly how things might feel during a conflict in which brother is fighting brother. The main cha ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Utterly brilliant. I cannot praise enough this novel that has enthralled me over the last few days. The latter days of the English Civil War are brought to life in all their uncertainty, violence and desperation through its spies - through their letters, papers, machinations, relationships and acts of defiance, bravery and hearts beating both warm and cold. I strongly urge you to read it.

Full review:
Robin Carter
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I feel that this will be a divisive book, a Marmite book for want of a better analogy.

For me I enjoyed it, even if it’s not my normal historical fiction read, but then again neither are Robert Low or Robyn Young. They write at times a historical fiction of a more literary style (or at least that’s how it feels to me). Many who love the genre, love a more blood and sandals style read, one filled with action and pace and instant drama. This isn’t one of those books, it’s not better, it’s not
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Set mainly in England, between 1648 and 1651, this is a fascinating fictionalised account of the battles between Cromwell and his Parliamantarians on one side and the Royalist supporters of Charles II on the other. Not just does it cover the battles of the period but also the behind the scenes intrigues and manipulation. There is a tremendous amount of research evident including the reproduction of actual documents which gives the book a fascinatingly authentic feel.
Sir Mortimer Shay is a sort
Maya Panika
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Traitor's Field is, quite simply, Magnificent. It's not what you'd call a page turner - it's about as far from a quick and easy read as literature gets. This is deeply literary fiction: there is no continuous narrative, no chapters; just a series of separate, often disconnected scenes, from a variety of viewpoints, that link and interweave to form a finely-detailed, fabulously complex, glorious tapestry of a story. I thought Wolf Hall was as good as it gets for historical fiction, but Traitor's ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the audiobook of his first book, so although I had the hardback from the Library, decided to buy from Audible. It is read by Cameron Stewart who is excellent.
We have moved back in time to the Civil War. What happens to a department dealing with secret intelligence when there is a division in who that intelligence belongs to. The king is dead, but the Royalist cause goes on. But the Parliamentarians also want to know how the department worked and to utilise it. People on both sides believ
Jane Walker
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I'm in two minds about this book. It's very clever, and Wilton is a skilled writer. But there was a point where I nearly gave up because I couldn't make sense of all the different voices. It does become clear later, and the personalities emerge. But the complexity of the sub-plot never really resolved itself for me.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I didn't get it. I read several chapters and skipped ahead and hoped that I would like a character. It takes place during Cromwell turmoil. I couldn't follow the documents that came in the chapters. I was not smart enough.
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Oh yawn! I drowned in a swamp of verbose language as I tried in vain to reach the end. But there was no escape and I went under. I gave it a go but it turned into an over-written history lesson, in which I could not care less about any of the characters. Some might like this but not me.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
An intelligent, well paced novel of espionage and double-dealing set against the backdrop of the final episodes of the English civil war.

Having really liked Robert Wilton's first novel (The Emperor's Gold), I feel this second book is even better.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Too dry, the plot was ill defined and although well written in terms of language and veracity it didn't hold my attention. I abandoned it at about 30% read
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Out now! The 'rare, clever treat' that is 'Treason's Spring'...

Robert Wilton worked in a number of British Government Departments, including a stint as Private Secretary to three successive UK Secretaries of State for Defence. He was advisor to the Prime Minister of Kosovo in the period leading to the country's independence, and now helps to run an international human rights mission in Albania. He
More about Robert Wilton...

Other Books in the Series

Archives of the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey (4 books)
  • Treason's Tide  (Archives of the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, #1)
  • The Spider of Sarajevo  (Archives of the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, #3)
  • Treason's Spring (Archives of the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, #4)

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