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Monday, May 24, 2021

Priest of Gallows by Peter McLean review

Order Priest of Gallows over HERE (US) and HERE (UK)

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATION: Peter McLean was born near London in 1972, the son of a bank manager and an English teacher. He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up stories.

By the time he left school this was probably the thing he was best at, alongside the Taoist kung fu he had been studying since the age of 13. He grew up in the Norwich alternative scene, alternating dingy nightclubs with martial arts and practical magic.

He has since grown up a bit, if not a lot, and spent 25 years working in corporate IT. He is married to Diane and is still making up stories.

FORMAT/INFO: Publishes May 27th, 2021 with Jo Fletcher Books. Page count: 384 p (PP). 

OVERVIEW: This series rocks! The story of Thomas Piety is both brutal and fascinating to follow. I can't believe there is only one book left. I confess, and there's no shame in it, that I dread what McLean has in store for his characters. After THIS ending, only mayhem can ensue.

Thomas's distinct voice kept me immersed in the story. Priest, he may be, among other things, but he doesn't pray often. Why should he? The Lady of Eternal Sorrows doesn't answer prayers, after all. His backstory is rooted in violence and trauma. He suffers from PTSD and McLean captures such moments with great skill.

Thomas enjoys respect, power, and authority, and in this installment, he gets more of those than he can handle. After Queen's sudden death, Dieter Vogel summons him back to the capital. The events that follow force Thomas to reconsider whether he's on the right side and whether he's willing to pay the price of immense power.

" Queen's Men were fucking gangsters, and there was no other way to look at it once you saw the truth of the thing. Our country was basically run by gangsters."

Thomas may not be an educated man, but he is not a fool, either. His instincts and wit allow him to navigate through complex politics and challenging emotions he would rather not experience. His voice remains rough and brutally honest. Thomas knows he's not quite right in the head and makes no secret of it. He knows who he cares about, though, and the moments he spends with his friends and adopted son add some lightness to the otherwise dark story.

Following the end of Priest of Lies, Tomas joins the government, an institution he loathed. The story focuses more on the cruel world of politics than on gangland assassinations. The government is even more ruthless and cynical than gangs and navigating (and surviving!) Dannsburg requires skills Thomas needs to sharpen. Happily, he has Bloody Anne with him. She acts as his conscience but also someone who knows what to do when the battle shock is getting on top of him. Bloody Anne rocks. That's all I have to say *

CONCLUSION: The story ends on a strong note, not exactly a cliffhanger, more at a point where a lot is in balance. So, I need the fourth book ASAP, but I'm also dreading what happens next.

* Well, I'll add this. Mr. McLean, please, be a gentleman, and make her and Rosie survive this!

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