I am once again working with The Coffee Pot Book Club to introduce you to your next favourite read! You have to check out M Lynes book about The Spanish Inquisition.
The mutilated body of a child is discovered behind a disused synagogue. The brutal Spanish Inquisition accuses the Jewish community of ritual child murder - the ‘blood libel’. The Inquisition will not rest until all heretics are punished.
Isaac Alvarez, a lawyer working for the royal estate, is a reluctant convert to Catholicism who continues to secretly practice Judaism. When his childhood friend is accused of the murder Isaac is torn between saving him and protecting his family. Isaac is convinced that solving the murder will disprove the blood libel, save his family, and protect his faith.
As the Inquisition closes in how far will Isaac go to protect both his family and his faith?
I cannot say that I know all that much about the Spanish Inquisition, but my lack of knowledge did not stop me from reading this book, nor did it hamper my enjoyment while reading. Not only does this book tell the story of how the Jews face systematic abuse and persecution by the Inquisition, it also explores the people behind the acts of horror. While I was shocked at the callousness of the methods used by the Grand Inquisitor to get people to confess, I was also drawn into the story and didn’t want to step away from it.
This book is written so incredibly well that I could almost feel the fear alongside Isaac. The terror that one thing said in the wrong way could mean the death of your entire family was heartbreaking and I couldn’t help but sit with my fingers crossed as I read, hoping that Isaac and his family would survive.
This novel is not solely about the Inquisition, though, for the death of a young boy, the very thing that brought the Grand Inquisitor to Seville to begin with, may hold the key to everything. There is certainly a great deal of mystery in this book which I found very compelling.
I can’t say I have ever read a book about the Inquisition before, but it was intriguing to learn about an era of history unknown to myself and this book taught it in such a way that I was never lost, or confused, and thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, confrontation and dangerous world that the author has depicted.
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Michael is an author of historical mysteries who writes under the pen name of M Lynes. He has a particular interest in early 16th century Andalucia. He is fascinated by the interplay between cultures, globalization and religious intolerance of that period in Spain’s history. The ‘Isaac Alvarez Mysteries’ are set against this rich background. He won a prize for his fiction at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival and is an alumna of the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course.
His debut novel ‘Blood Libel’, the first full-length Isaac Alvarez Mystery, was published in January 2021. Isaac, a lawyer working for the royal estate, must solve a brutal child murder to protect his family and his faith from the Spanish Inquisition.
Michael is hard at work on the second novel in the series and planning the third. He is originally from London but currently lives in Dubai with his family.
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