The Last Protector

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Member Reviews

loved this book - would 100% recommend and am looking forward to reading what this author writes next!
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Another great book in this series. I have really enjoyed this series. It has brought a period in history that I studied at school to life.  It has made events easier to imagine and people seem more real.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Another super addition to this series set after the Restoration. Marwood's position is secure but he is still at the mercy of the Duke of Buckingham and his thugs. Cat is married to Hakesby and is less than content when an old acquaintance, daughter of the Lord Protector Richard Cromwell, renews the friendship.

Cat and Hakesby are enlisted to assist Cromwell in recovering his roperty whilst Buckigham conspires to undermine the king and progress his own ambitions. Marwood must use his guile both to escape the attentions of Buckingham and to rescue Cat from the situation she has been drawn into.

The relationship between Marwood and Cat is understated and all the better for it. Other characters are convincing albeit generally one-dimensional and the atmosphere of late 1660s London is well conveyed through its smells and shady characters as well as the intrigues of the court. The story is well-paced and the resolution is pleasing.

More please!
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I really enjoyed this book, set against real historical events and real characters, though the main characters are fictional.
The writing brings the period to life perfectly, from the first page.
  I think the reader will get the most from this book if they have already read the first in the series.  I hope there is another volume to come.
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This is another in the series describing life in London during the period when the City was largely destroyed by the Great Fire and the political turmoil surrounding the early years of the restoration of the monarchy. This latest offering from Andrew Taylor does not disappoint. The description of life in the mid to late 1660s in this book, as in the previous novels in the series, is compelling and carefully incorporates famous figures from history and key incidents from the period. The ‘Last Protector, in the title refers to Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell, who succeeded his father as Lord Protector during the last months of the Commonwealth. Andrew Taylor constructs a credible story around a fictional plot involving Richard Cromwell and the Duke of Buckingham. 

Once again, readers who might enjoy being transported to the sights, sounds, and even smells of this fascinating period of British history will enjoy the book. The key characters of Cat and Marwood, introduced at the start of the series are again vividly brought to life as their stories intertwine and separate as events threaten to engulf them both.

Highly recommended.
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I read the first book in this series some time ago, then gobbled up the next two to catch up. I'm thrilled that there's a fourth in the series. This book was rather unusual - quirky and compelling. It wasn't a traditional murder mystery, as I'd expected, at all, which was extremely refreshing. The setting is different, a blessing if you're getting bored of books set in Tudor England! The relationship between the two central characters is intriguing and the interplay between various character keeps you on your toes.

I really love this series, and this one may be the best yet. I can't wait for the next one!
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17th century and an unlawful physical dual is a precursor to a struggle to topple the monarchy by those who favour a return to the days of “Old Ironsides”. The secret return of his exiled son, Richard,  presents an opportunity  for the opposition that leaves our central character, Marwood, establishment spy and general dogsbody, once again on the wrong end of sword, cudgel and hateful intent as he seeks to unravel the plot. For me this was as atmospheric as ever in that you don’t so much read as sit on the sidelines and watch. Good continuity of characters throughout the series gave this book a familiar feel as it ranged from sewer to sovereign and perhaps an opportunity for Marwood to finally sort his love life. My thanks to Harper Collins and Net Galley.
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I’ve read and enjoyed all of the books in the series. The Last Protector was no exception. This is actually my favourite book so far. This takes a slightly different angle than the other books. The other books have fallen into the murder mystery category. This is a book full of intrigue and suspense which revolves around Richard Cromwell sneaking back to England and getting in the way of a sinister plot to seal the throne by the Duke of Buckingham. There is more historical fiction than murder mystery here. Marwood and Lovett are on top form here, they are more fleshed out and the relationship between them is much stronger. The book is also set in 17th century London and the author does an amazing job of bringing the era and city to life. I found this absorbing.
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It's the first book I read in this series and now I must read all the other because it's excellent.
I loved this entertaining and gripping story, the vivid and well researched historical background and the well thought characters.
The plot flows and is full of twists and turns.
It was an excellent read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this, the third in series. Every school child in Britain will learn about the Great fire of London, as I did. But what happened afterwards? Well, London became an enormous building site as the city was more or less rebuilt. I found this very interesting. In addition, we’ve all heard of Oliver Cromwell and what happened to him. But what about his survivors? This becomes the central plot in this story. A very informative and entertaining read. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
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A wonderfully atmospheric and engrossing book, as are the previous books in this series. Andrew Taylor  paints vivid pictures of the places and people in the book and tells an engrossing story with consummate skill in his use of language. I don’t read much historical fiction but would recommend this book to all, with a suggestion that you read Ashes  of London and The Fire Court first, so that you get to know the protagonist, James Marwood, his friends and enemies, and immerse yourself in 17th century London in all its gore and glory!
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This book was a much better storyline than the previous book. Based around a story about Richard Cromwell and those who wanted a return to England as it was under Oliver Cromwell  - pre-Charles II and his debauched society.  A good steady tale with some interesting scenes, including poor James getting the rough end of it a couple of times. I am already looking forward to the next in the series. Wth thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is my first experience of Marwood and Lovett now Hakesby and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is so well researched and written, the characters so well drawn, one could almost imagine being in the grimy streets, the winding alleyways housing the bawdy houses and the clipclop of hooves. This was an enjoyable romp through the 17C and one I would love to repeat. I'll be looking out for the other novels in the series. Recommended.
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I have enjoyed other novels by Andrew Taylor but haven't read any of the three novels in the series that precede this one. Unfortunately this meant that i just couldn't get to grips with this novel as there were too many unfamiliar characters and backstories. It felt like really hard work to work out who everyone was and what was happening. It was a pacy novel that i probably would have enioyed had i been more familiar with the series.
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This fourth book in this romp through Restoration England deals with Richard Cromwell , the late protectors son. It seems he was not as successful or capable as his father, and he doesn't seem to be such a compelling character! He has been in exile in France, but has become homesick for his family, and has returned very surreptitiously to London, as once back home, he is closely spied upon by the King's watchers
Cat Lovett, now Mrs. Hakesby, was a friend and playmate of Richard's daughter, Elizabeth. Cats parents were wealthy and great friends of the Cromwell family, and when Elizabeth gets in touch with Cat, she is suspicious of her motive for doing so. It appears that both Richard and Elizabeth are searching for hidden treasure hidden in the old Royal apartments in Whitehall, and they need the plans from Cats husband, Simon Hakesby, who is an architect. To access the location of this treasure, we are introduced to the less than fragrant world of the Mazer Scourer, named Ferrus. This name and occupation was totally unknown to me, and you could almost smell the odours rising off the pages!! We were also introduced to Bawdy houses, riots against such establishments and the Duke of Buckingham is still being less than trustworthy, as we see him fighting duels, and being involved in many nefarious schemes. James Marwell becomes involved in the action, by being a friend to Cat, rescuing a young prostitute, and not for the first time, being knocked unconscious.! 
One of the central characters dies, which may work out very favourably to two of our much loved personages in this series of books. 
I really enjoy improving my scanty knowledge of this period of history, not covered when I was at school in the 1960's. The amount of detail is well researched and never becomes dry in tone. By concentrating upon familiar characters, we are free to comprehend the issues of social morality, the schemes of so called gentlemen, and the lifestyle of the women, both titled and those engaged in the oldest profession!! 
These stories are set in the 1600's, and therefore, we have the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral, and the completion of the Dragon Yard to look forward to!!  I do hope there are more adventures in store. 
It is the mark of a good book, that the minute I have finished reading it, I am immediately hankering for the next one to come my way. I have bought the first three books for my youngest son's birthday, and they and he are on their way to the Falkland Islands for the next six months. I hope they will occupy and educate him, so we can discuss them on his return. I have also recommended them to my U3A group, as a possible book to explore later this year. I will leave a feedback on Goodreads later tonight, as a five star read.
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Reviewing as a stand-alone not having read the previous three books relating it would appear to the main characters. A well researched and well written historical novel but one which steered away from the overload of historical facts which often appear in similar type books.
While the 'cameo' character was the mute and abused Ferrus, the sewer cleaner, I am not sure the change of writing style used for his 'speech' was necessary. Quite amusing but a little grating (no pun intended) at times . Nevertheless an interesting and enjoyable read.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the chance to write an unbiased review.
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The final (?) book in Taylor’s 17th C Marwood series, set against the machinations of Cromwellian England. This was everything I’ve come to expect from the series. Detailed and effortless historical worldbuilding. Fast paced and twisting plots and engaging character interactions. A great series that bears revisiting.
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Once again Andrew Taylor brings alive the past in this 17th century setting of the fourth book in this series. With James Marwood and Cat Lovett involved in the world of intrigue in the reign of Charles the Second with the Duke of Buckingham and the late Protector Richard Cromwell the focus  in the beautifully crafted plot. He romps along with the tale fitting in the every day characters of life at that time, be they the aristocrats or the lowest level of society Ferris a sewer scraper.. Without overpowering detail the past is brought alive to make a wonderful story that will engage the reader from the first page!
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Really enjoyed this tale of life in 17th century. Although a work of fiction, it gave us an insight into the history of the day and how life was lived and it must have been hard. 
I found myself feeling very sorry for some of the characters and the life they led; in particular, the poor creature Ferrus and his only friend - the dog Windy. Despite this, the book teems with life and is colourful and eventful.  
Our history is an amazing thing and books such as this, help us to peel back the veils of time and feel it for ourselves. Highly recommended.
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The latest book in the series featuring James Marwood and Cat Lovett/Hakesby lives up to the high standard set by previous installments.  The characters range from King Charles II & the Duke of Buckingham to Ferrus, assistant to a mazer scourer (cleaner and maintainer of sewers with minimal tools and no PPE (personal protective equipment), dealing with the 17th century equivalent of fat-bergs, amongst other things).  The Last Protector of the title is Richard Cromwell, who briefly took over from father Oliver before having to flee the country at the time of the Reformation.
The sights and sounds of London are, once again, brought vividly to life, with smells also added this time out.
Cannot wait for the next novel in the series.
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