Author(s): Minette Walters
When the Black Death enters England through the port in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is-or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from the manor when news of this pestilence reaches her, she looks for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. She decides to bring her serfs inside the safety of the moat that surrounds her manor house, then refuses entry to anyone else, even her husband.Lady Anne makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband's steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs...until food stocks run low. The nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat again?Compelling and suspenseful, The Last Hours is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance set against the worst pandemic in history. In Lady Anne of Develish-leader, savior, heretic-Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date.
Minette Walters was one of the most successful crime fiction writers in the world. Published to critical acclaim in over 34 countries, each new novel reached the top of the Australian bestseller lists. Her last novel was The Chameleon's Shadow in 2007. The Last Hours sees Minette moving in an exciting direction. She has written an extraordinary historical novel set in 1348, the year the Black Death came to England. Minette lives in Dorset with her husband.