Skip to content

The Crown Agent by Stephen O’Rourke @sorourke_ @SandstonePress @CerisAnne #TheCrownAgent

November 11, 2019

Source: Review copy
Publication: 7th November 2019 from Sandstone Press
PP: 228
ISBN-13: 978-1912240760

In 1829, disillusioned young doctor, Mungo Lyon, is recruited by the Crown to investigate a mysterious murder and shipwreck off the coast of Scotland. His adventures lead him on a pursuit across the Scottish countryside, to kidnap and treason, an unwanted trip to the West Indies, an insurrection and love.

A large part of the enjoyment of historical fiction for me is the ability of the writer to conjure in my mind the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era. Stephen O’Rourke has done that well in The Crown Agent and I loved his descriptions of maritime sailing, of a barge journey through the Forth and Clyde canal and of the hustle and bustle of Glasgow’s Broomielaw as it teemed with different nationalities seeking their new ports of call.

The Crown Agent is a fast paced adventure story, telling the exploits of Dr Mungo Lyon, a surgeon whose work has been discredited following the exposure and trial of Burke and Hare for murder and body snatching.

Called upon to act as an undercover agent for the government, his life is in danger from the very start of his adventures. Lyon stumbles upon a secret society whose tentacles spread throughout polite society and he has no idea who he can trust. 

Travelling from Edinburgh through to Greenock, he is challenged and hunted at every turn and must use his wits to get himself out of the hands of the evil criminals who are doing their masters’ bidding in hunting him down.

One man is there beside him, aiding his survival, but even he has a past that makes Mungo think twice about accepting his help. As our brave young doctor takes on a huge challenge, we see him take enormous risks to get to the truth and find those who are behind this devilish secret society, seeking to expose their plans for domination before it is too late.

Every chapter is action packed with impromptu surgeries, violent attacks and villains who are relentless in their desire to bring Mungo down. O’Rourke has a splendid descriptive style that allows the reader to visualise the countryside in all its glory as we follow Mungo’s tense and suspenseful adventures which take him from Campbeltown to Jamaica.

O’Rourke’s writing is vivid and authentic and his dialogue is well suited to this 19th century adventure story in the tradition of Stephenson.

Verdict: An exciting historical adventure story with plenty of action and suspense. I do love a good conspiracy thriller and Stephen O’Rourke has given me one I can really get my teeth into. Recommended.

Hive Books                       Waterstones                    Amazon

Stephen O’Rourke is an advocate and a Member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators. He formerly wrote a regular column for The Scotsman and has written for The Guardian, Caledonian Mercury and Think Scotland websites. In 2012 he won a short story competition run by The Daily Telegraph, which proved to be the basis for The Crown Agent.

One Comment
  1. I am currently reading The Crown Agent and thoroughly enjoying it. I was born in Argyll and raised in Birmingham. Stephen’s account of both areas are authentic.
    I hope this is the first of many novels!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mrs. Peabody Investigates

International crime fiction, TV and film

Book Bound

For the love of books...

CookingTheBooks

Feeding the soul one story at a time.

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Love the Smell of a Book

Reading, reviewing and sharing the love for our favourite books for adults, teens and children

BookBathBrew

The Perfect Way to Spend an Evening

Brianne's Book Reviews

Books, Books, Books!

For the Love of Meg

A Blog for all the Books I love to read and all the Films I love to watch

Always Need More Books

Books...need I say more?

Fantastic Reads

"It was impossible of course, but when did that ever stop a dreamer from dreaming?" -Strange The Dreamer by Lani Taylor

Curled up with a good book

Honest Book Reviews, Meet the Author, Blog Tours, Cover Reveals & More!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff

HERDING CATS

General ramblings of a busy person

%d bloggers like this: