Christopher Rowe is back and there are more puzzles, riddles, and secrets to uncover in this follow-up to the Indie Next pick The Blackthorn Key, which was called a "spectacular debut" by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. The Black Death has returned to London, spreading disease and fear through town. A mysterious prophet predicts the city's ultimate doom-until an unknown apothecary arrives with a cure that actually works. Christopher's Blackthorn shop is chosen to prepare the remedy. But when an assassin threatens the apothecary's life, Christopher and his faithful friend Tom are back to hunting down the truth, risking their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy. And as the sickness strikes close to home, the stakes are higher than ever before.
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by Kevin Sands
by Laurence Shames
by Lindsay J. Pryor
"Ray Panthaki returns to narrate the second in Sands's series. He reads with precision, highlighting the author's obvious research and careful detailing. Together, the story and its narration immerse listeners in the horrors of the 1665 London plague. Panthaki's portrayal of the story's hero, Christopher, is questioning and thoughtful. Christopher is pensive by nature, but in this sequel the apothecary's apprentice is coming to grips with his mentor's death, the struggle to survive, and untangling a cipher that will lead to his mentor's legacy. Panthaki draws Christopher's two loyal friends as convincingly as the story's villains. Tension and confusion mount as two strangers enter the town. Are they healers, prophets, or manipulators? Panthaki's narration matches the action and adventure in this fast-moving mystery. S.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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