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Plague

(Plague and Fire #1)

by
3.64  ·  Rating details ·  612 ratings  ·  110 reviews
WINNER 2015 — Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God's vengeance in his heart. 
     Five years after his restoration to the throne, Charles II leads his citizens by example, enjoying every excess. Londoners have slipped the shackles of puritanism and now flock to the cockpits, brothels and, especi
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Doubleday Canada
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3.64  · 
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 ·  612 ratings  ·  110 reviews


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Delee

3.5

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

Revelations 6:8


Death stalks the streets of London...

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I had a feeling when I requested this book it was going to be a little more gruesome than I normally like...but when I saw the words- PLAGUE, RESTORATION PERIOD and SERIAL KILLER- I knew I would have to suck it up and read it anyways. I do confess that I did have to skim a teeny weenie bit over certain areas- so a word of w
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Wanda
4.5 stars

Chris Humphreys is an inspired historical fiction author. I met him last weekend at a literary conference and he is smart, funny, and charming as the devil. He definitely benefits from his acting background, particularly his ease with performing Shakespeare (we got an excerpt from one of the Henry plays during his key-note address). During one of his panel discussions, he mentioned that as an author, one must choose how the dialog will be written—choose your form of “bygone-ese” as he c
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C.W.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Restoration England is often portrayed as a licentious romp where Charles II and his bevy of mistresses enjoyed an endless party. The end of the brutal civil war that saw Charles’s father beheaded brought about a joyous return to life and art, including a fervor for the theater, where women took the stage for the first time. In C.C. Humphrey’s vivid and suspenseful new novel, Plague, the first in a trilogy about this fascinating era, the atmosphere is decidedly darker.

Told through the eyes of a
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Cphe
Historical crime fiction set against a backdrop of the Black Plague. Took quite a while for the mystery component to unfold due to the introduction of multiple characters. It wasn't until the second half of the novel that the mystery really started to gather momentum.
Had an inkling early on in the novel as to who the culprit would be. Thought the two main characters the highwayman Captain William Coke and the thief - taker Pitman were well presented but it was Croke's ward that I enjoyed reading
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Paul
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite book by Humphreys but he captures London so well that its hard not to enjoy. I could see and smell the streets with his descritions. I didn't take to the main characters straight away but Coke and Pitman grew on me as they developedand I'll definitely look forward to their next adventure
Sebastien Castell
I have a troubled relationship with historical fiction. On the one hand, I love the idea of learning about another time and place through story, but all too often the reams of historical details about trousers and curtain rods lose me within the first chapters. Not so with C.C. Humphreys' Plague--a historical adventure which always hones in on characters and their perils and lets the historical details be the means through which we see just how precarious their lives are.

The story centres around
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Maria Hill AKA MH Books
Dick Turpin was one of my favourite characters when I was an adolescent. Add to this a gory murder story, the plague and of course stinky, overcrowded London of the 17th century and this book should have been right up my alley. The plot was fast moving (it would make a good action movie) and the dialogue, for the male characters at least, well written.


Captain Coke is a gentleman Highway man. The thief-catcher is a working class, religious man who is trying to earn enough to raise his every grow
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Trelawn
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great read. Murder, plague, religious fanatics and a host of great characters. This story has it all. London in 1665 is a riotous place. The monarchy has been restored, women can tread the boards and the plague has reared it's pestilential head. Humphreys evokes the sights and sounds of London vividly. He also populates his books with vibrant characters, particularly the protagonists, Pitman and Coke. On opposite sides of the law, both must forge an alliance to apprehend the murderer co ...more
Stephen
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
murder mystery based at the time of the great plague of London 1665 felt like you could touch and smell the grime the way the author sets the scene and really enjoyed it with the characters and a page turner too
Sara
finished my first Read-a-thon book!
Ariana
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway.

While this wasn't a tough read, it wasn't a particularly enjoyable one, either. At least Captain Cook and Dickson were fun characters to follow, and though I didn't care much for the plot at least I enjoyed reading their parts in the story.

I often confused characters, not being able to remember the difference between Lucy and Sarah, and the constant switch in points of view didn't help, either. I didn't find some scenes necessar
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Patrick Rooney
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Plague, by C.C. Humphreys, is an excellent historical drama set during the time of the Great Plague in London in 1665. The characters were interesting, unique, and believable, mainly because the author's descriptions accurately depicted the fashions, speech, and mannerisms of the various classes at the time. The author's historical knowledge of the theater is evident throughout the book. For instance, actresses, who are often placed "on a pedestal" by people these days, usually worked as high-cl ...more
Magpie
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne 2017


Plague CC Humphreys

Anne 2017

Very good book - 5 *****

The plot involves a period of history rich with intrigue and danger- the reign of Charles II in 1665 and London's great Plague attack woven in with the threat the Fifth Monarchists posed to the religious status quo of the day.
It's a thriller and a tender love story and an examination of PTSD rolled into one.

Captain Coke (English Civil War survivor who has turned highwayman, though not deadly as he never loads his guns) with his ward in
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Becky
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. It reminded me of the Elizabethan theatre mysteries, I think the similarities went beyond the settings of pre- Great Fire theatre. This story offers a very gruesome twist to period murder; with a damaged and psychotic murderer on the loose in London. The murderer is driven by a religious mania and a belief that the end of days in almost upon the world, a belief that is given added weight as plague breaks out across the city of London. The depiction of the damage done t ...more
Carolyn
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fast paced crime novel, set in 1665 during the Black Death. the filth of the London streets, the brothels, cockfights, taverns, and terrible prisons gives an atmospheric setting and a subtle history lesson. It was a time of excess, and women were allowed to act on stage for the first time, and the actresses considered ladies of loose morals. The characters of Captain Coke, a highwayman, and Pitman,the thief catcher were well done and entertaining. Was interesting to read about how London cope ...more
Brittany
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book took me forever to read. The start is slow, as in the first 100 pages or so. After there is a gruesome scene that was almost enough to make me stop reading. Once I picked it up again the story drastically improved after page 160 or so. All and all an interesting time period, filled with plague, intrigue and murder just not wonderfully done.
Sandy S.
Disclosure: ARC provided by Doubleday Canada

3.5 stars – why oh why Goodreads won’t you give us half stars?!?

I must say, Plague by C.C. Humphreys is a book that is right up my alley: a gruesome murder mystery, the bubonic plague, and olden-times all wrapped up into one easy-breezy summer read.

We are first introduced to Captain Coke – a former military captain turned highwayman who encounters the brutal murders of some uppercrust peeps he had been planning to rob himself. He flees with an expensi
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Taylor
3.5 stars. I almost really enjoyed this book. There were so many great elements but it didn't quite work. It may have been down to the excessive (in my opinion) descriptive violence and unpleasant imagery. Think torture and dead cats. Not a book to read while eating. It was this same talent for description, however, that made the book so good. I really felt like I was there rather than just reading about the events. And the characters were well drawn. I sometimes have difficulties keeping the ch ...more
Sam Campbell
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as a blind date book from my local library and was a bit sceptical at first. However, it didn't take very long for me to get into the story. I actually really enjoyed this. The story is written in an easy to understand style and the plot is very fast paced. The characters are easy to identify with, whether good, bad or in between. The time period of the Plague is of interest to me and thought it was handled well by the author. I would recommend to anyone who fancies something dif ...more
Kate
Plague stalks London's streets in the company of a brutal serial murderer. While I did enjoy the character of gentleman highwayman Captain Coke - and Pitman, detective and bounty hunter - this novel was a little too violent and grim for my squeamish tastes. I suspect that readers of crime fiction would enjoy this more.

James McCann
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good murder mystery set in the time of the plague.
Rebecca
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Don't know what to say about it but "interesting." Humphreys can spin a good historical yarn. The French Executioner was one of my all time faves.

This one, however, wandered away from the London plague and more into seedy murder mystery with sickness kind of going on in the background? I suppose I knew that by the jacket but I sort of expected something different, given the title.

What was nice to see was his dedication to the research (as always) and an element of gory "real" detail that is of
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Vishaka Rajan
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought I would enjoy this novel a lot more than I did. The characters were quite interesting, and I really liked the way the author introduced each one, giving them all their own chapter and spotlight at the very beginning of the book. The language of the book was perfectly written to fit in with the surroundings; the author did a great job setting the scene. However, I felt that the plot itself was lackluster, at times dragging and at times rushed. Some parts of the plot were quite unnecessa ...more
Sarah
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I read the ARC version and spelling/grammar mistakes aside, I really enjoyed the story overall. The author had a rambling way of writing at times that wasn't easy to read. Sometimes I'd have to re-read paragraphs to discern the point they were making. The author could have used more sentence breaks and less commas.

Still, the flow of the story was compelling, I enjoyed the characters, the settings were well described, and the ending was satisfying for me. I haven't read or watched too many storie
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Robin Rivers
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I should have known that a book entitled "Plague" would require a strong stomach. The detail with which C.C. Humphreys lays out death, mutilation and more makes even the hardiest soul nauseous. But, once you get past the graphic display, Plague is a wonderful exploration of the ravages of war on men's psyches, the value of unexpected friendships and the mercurial beast of love.

Understanding that Humphreys takes great pains to infuse the novel with period-specific language and imagery, I did stil
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Lucy
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Although it's a great book, I have only given it 3 stars as it was a struggle for me to get into. I don't usually read books on crime/thrillers, and I found it difficult to go along with.
I was determined to finish it though and eventually got into and glad I did. It ended up being a real page turner and I found myself needing to know "who dun it" and sharing a fondness for Coke and Pitman.
Looking forward to reading Fire...if I get around to it.
Joan
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, set in London in 1665. Begins with the gentleman highwayman Captain Coke, attempting a robbery only to discover a far worse crime had been committed. He is pursued by Pitman, the thief-taker and eventually they join forces to solve the murders, while at the same time the plague is spreading through London.
Jasmine
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The dark days of the great plague in 1665 London is horrifying. This story is a work of fiction, however, Humphreys winds in actual researched facts and descriptions. I am so glad I was not alive for this horrible time period.
Sarah
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction but I’m a little afraid of stories of the plague because they give me nightmares. This however while graphic was also an intriguing murder mystery and I really enjoyed reading it
Brie
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read.
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aka Chris Humphreys

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys was born in Toronto, lived till he was seven in Los Angeles, then grew up in the UK. All four grandparents were actors, and since his father was an actor as well, it was inevitable he would follow the bloodline.

Chris has performed on stages from London's West End to Hollywood in roles including Hamlet, Caleb the gladiator in NBC's AD-Anno Domini', Clive P
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Plague and Fire (2 books)
  • Fire
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