Spotlight: Treason by James Jackson

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‘Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

If you’re excitedly anticipating Bonfire Night or you’ve been enjoying the series Gunpowder on BBC TV then I have the perfect book for you: Treason by James Jackson.

You can find an extract from this dramatic historical thriller below.

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TreasonAbout the Book

Behind the famous rhyme lies a murderous conspiracy that goes far beyond Guy Fawkes and his ill-fated Gunpowder Plot . . .

In a desperate race against time, spy Christian Hardy must uncover a web of deceit that runs from the cock-fighting pits of Shoe Lane, to the tunnels beneath a bear-baiting arena in Southwark, and from the bad lands of Clerkenwell to a brutal firefight in The Globe theatre.

But of the forces ranged against Hardy, all pale beside the renegade Spanish agent codenamed Realm.


Format: Paperback (336 pp.)        Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Published: 19th October 2017       Genre: Historical Fiction

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Extract: Treason by James Jackson

A longboat was making the Thames crossing, edging through the early morning mist from the south bank to the foot of the stairs at Westminster. Those on board had chosen this hour for good reason. They carried with them a consignment of gunpowder, twenty barrels brought from the Lambeth home of Robin Catesby and destined to be stowed beneath the House of Lords. The next stage of the plan was underway.

Waiting at the steps, his lantern held aloft, Guido Fawkes guided his comrades in. There was no need for talk. They transferred the load quickly, the large handcart filling and Jack Wright remaining ashore as the quartermaster Keyes cast off and returned into the gloom. Should there be an ambush it would happen here and now. The swordsman peered into the shadows blanketing the silent halls and empty buildings. It was as though he had landed on some foreign shore, was come to do battle with a distant foe. Like the natives of the Americas who tried to stem the Spanish, the incumbent regime stood no chance against invasion. Each man took up position on the poles and began to move the cart towards the passage.

‘Our ordnance at last is come.’ There was almost wonder in the voice of Thomas Percy. ‘Now are we ready for our moment.’

They stood in a corner of the ground-floor undercroft set beneath the raised hall of the House of Lords, a discreet place of storage almost forgotten and generally ignored by the denizens of Westminster. Percy was glad for its existence. It meant mining could be abandoned and its dangers replaced by the rental of space from a coal-merchant directly below the target. As a gentleman and official bodyguard to King James, he had reason and right to be there; as a married man with lodgings now available a few paces instant, he had excuse to seek a convenient overflow for his possessions. Twenty hidden barrels of explosive were now added to his inventory.

He turned to Wright. ‘When shall Keyes bring the rest?’

‘There is no need for haste.’

‘Yet there is necessity we prepare and create a blast to devour all. The King brings to London his youngest maggot Charles and it seems we have no street army.’

The swordsman was as taciturn as the mercenary beside him. ‘We have sufficient force to hunt them.’

‘To erase Charles and his elder brother Henry? To prevent their flight or survival of any loyal member of the court?’

‘A regime beheaded cannot resist. When explosion is done, confusion will be our friend.’

james-jackson1About the Author

James Jackson is the author of numerous historical and contemporary thrillers, including Sunday Times bestsellers Blood Rock and Pilgrim. He is a former political risk consultant and a postgraduate in military studies, and acts as an advisor for film-maker Guy Ritchie and thriller writer Frederick Forsyth. He is also a qualified barrister and member of the Inner Temple. He lives in London.

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