Sunday, 29 August 2010

Book Review

"Movers and Shakers"

'The Redemption of Alexander Seaton'

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by: Shona Maclean
Quercus Books. 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84724 791 9

Shona Maclean is a relatively new author that I stumbled upon quite by accident last year.  Shona was born in Inverness, a large town on the North East coast of Scotland,and grew up in the Scottish Highlands where her parents were hoteliers.

Shona has an M.A. and Ph.D. in 17th century History, which she gained from the University of Aberdeen. She is also the neice of the late novelist Alistair MacLean, who wrote  many well known novels that included 'The Guns of Navarone' and 'Where Eagles Dare'. Some of Alister Maclean's books were adapted as films, and remain popular to this very day.

Shona's first novel which was published in 2008, is called 'The Redemption of Alexander Seaton', and tells the story of a thrilling murder and mystery set in 17th century Scotland. This particular tale is positively steeped within the history of that particular period.

As the title of this book suggests, the central character within the story is Alexander Seaton, a dishonoured minister, who now has to earn a meagre living, by working as a reluctant and embittered teacher in the small Scottish village of Banff.

On a wild and wet stormy night, the local apothecary's assistant collapses in the street. Alexander Seaton is a witness to this particular tragic event , but walks on and does nothing to help. The following morning, the apothecary's assistant is then found dead in Alexander Seaton's classroom.  

A friend of Alexander Seaton, Charles Thom, who had been living with the apothecary's assistant, is then arrested, on suspicion of murdering the apothecary's assistant.The story then develops into the main body of the tale, of how Alexander Seaton sets out to prove his friend's innocence.

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton is filled with atmosphere, emotion, excitement, historical detail and characters that you can imagine and live with, through the adventure, as a remarkable story unfolds.

I have recently introduced this book to quite a few friends, who have come back with nothing but positive remarks in relation to this story. For those who love historical fiction, this should be a must read!

Earlier this year Shona Maclean published her second book called 'A Game of Sorrows', and I will post a review on this book fairly soon.

This is a recommended 5 star read.


  1. Sounds like a good read - I'll have to see if I can pick this one up at the library.

    And I see you're going to read Erika Mailman's 'The Witch's Trinity Soon'? I loved that book, can not recommend it enough.

  2. I really enjoyed this book, and without spoiling things, the second book (another 5 star read),I though, was even slightly better!

  3. This book is fantastic, great plot, pace, characterisation. It's sequel A Game of Sorrows is even better. Very highly recommended!

  4. As a lover of historical and mystery fiction, this book was perfect for me. Most certainly agree with both The Secret Writer and christinelstanley, that the sequel,"A Game of Sorrows", is even better than "The Redemption of Alexander Seaton".

  5. Thanks for your comments. Shona Maclean will be visiting this blog, so watch out for news of when she will be here!


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