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A Reluctant Hero

(The third book in the Will Revill series)
A novel by

"I was gripped from the first page to the last." Roger Morris, author of the Porfiry Petrovich Mysteries.

"A wonderful mix of intrigue and action." Richard Foreman, author of Spies of Rome.

England, August 1591.

After two years as a soldier turned spy for the Crown, Captain Will Revill embarks on what he hopes will be his final mission.

On orders of Queen Elizabeth’s new spymaster, Sir Robert Cecil, he must join the staff of Lord Ballater, an embittered Catholic, who like most of the nobility is following the Queen’s annual Summer Progress.

Revill’s task is to keep a close watch on Ballater’s staunchly Catholic servants – one of whom Cecil believes intends to make an attempt on the Queen’s life. As the great train of several hundred people traverses the Southern Counties, Elizabeth is often exposed to grave danger.

Things begin badly for Revill. Unwelcome and mistrusted among Ballater’s company, his unofficial presence denied by Cecil, he locks horns with His Lordship’s belligerent steward Saul Harman. Yet Harman seems an unlikely assassin – as does the taciturn ex-soldier Hawkins, or Ballater’s bookish secretary Dickon.

Perhaps Cecil is mistaken. But the mystery takes another turn when, aided by Cecil’s undercover agent John Shearer, Revill uncovers a scheme run by the Crown Purveyors to divert funds from the royal coffers.

When the Queen’s train reaches Chichester, a plot is at last laid bare - and an old enemy comes out of the shadows.

Only a man of Revill’s courage and quick thinking can avert disaster… if his luck holds.

John Pilkington was born in Preston, into one of the oldest Lancashire families. He writes historical fiction as well as drama which has been adapted for radio, theatre and tv. He is the author of the Thomas the Falconer Mystery series and the Justice Belstrang Mystery series.

Praise for John Pilkington:
'A captivating tale alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of a bygone age. Historical storytelling done right.'
Steven Veerapen, author of the Simon Danforth Mysteries.

'A taut tale of intrigue and double-dealing. A real page-turner.'
Michael Ward, author of the Thomas Tallant Mysteries.

'A Reluctant Assassin is a gripping mystery-thriller full of memorable characters, dark deeds and unexpected twists set against an intriguing background both physical and historical - enhanced by John Pilkington's trademark meticulous research.'
Peter Tonkin, author of Shadow of the Tower.

'Beautifully written, with a real page turner of a plot that kept me gripped to the thrilling finale.'
Jemahl Evans, author of the Sir Blandford Candy Adventure series.

'Away from the corruption of London and no longer a Justice, but that doesn’t stop Belstrang uncovering dark deeds in this Jacobean thriller. A joy from mysterious beginnings to a satisfying conclusion by a master storyteller.'
Paul Walker, author of The Queen’s Spy.

'The story moves at a great pace… it made a welcome change to discover Elizabethan England through the eyes of a lesser mortal.'
The Historical Novels Review.

Genre: Mystery

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