Author: Jeri Westerson
Original language: English
In fourteenth century London, Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight convicted of treason and stripped of his land, title and his honor. He has become known as the “Tracker”—a man who can find anything, can solve any puzzle and, with the help of his apprentice, Jack Tucker, an orphaned street urchin with a thief ’s touch—will do so for a price. But this time, even Crispin is wary of taking on his most recent client. Jacob of Provencal is a Jewish physician at the King’s court, even though all Jews were expelled from England nearly a century before. Jacob wants Crispin to find stolen parchments that might be behind the recent, ongoing, gruesome murders of young boys, parchments that someone might have used to bring forth a demon which now stalks the streets and alleys of London.
From Publishers Weekly
Westerson’s third 14th-century historical featuring disgraced knight Crispin Guest (after 2009’s Serpent in the Thorns) is the best yet in the series, though the plotting and characterization remain a cut below that of, say, a master of the medieval subgenre like Susanna Gregory. Guest, who’s developed a reputation as “the Tracker,” pursues two cases: a Jewish doctor, Jacob of Proven?al, retains him to recover some lost Hebrew manuscripts, and the sheriff of London asks for his help to trace a serial killer who’s strangled and eviscerated four young boys. In the course of his inquiries, Guest encounters a hulking figure who may be the legendary golem, a creature molded from clay to protect the Jewish community. Those who may regard the serial killer story line as anachronistic will find a real-life model, Gilles de Rais, cited in the author’s afterword.