11 April, 2014

Book Tour Review: The Winter Siege by D.W. Bradbridge

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Book Summary:

Displaying The Winter Siege.jpgPublication Date: October 1, 2013
Electric Reads
Paperback; 488p
ISBN-10: 1492795712

1643. The armies of King Charles I and Parliament clash in the streets and fields of England, threatening to tear the country apart, as winter closes in around the parliamentary stronghold of Nantwich. The royalists have pillaged the town before, and now, they are returning. But even with weeks to prepare before the Civil War is once more at its gates, that doesn’t mean the people of Nantwich are safe.
While the garrison of soldiers commanded by Colonel George Booth stand guard, the town’s residents wait, eyeing the outside world with unease, unaware that they face a deadly threat from within. Townspeople are being murdered – the red sashes of the royalists left on the bodies marking them as traitors to the parliamentary cause.
When the first dead man is found, his skull caved in with a rock, fingers start being pointed, and old hatreds rise to the surface. It falls to Constable Daniel Cheswis to contain the bloodshed, deputising his friend, Alexander Clowes, to help him in his investigations, carried out with the eyes of both armies on his back. And they are not the only ones watching him.
He is surrounded by enemies, and between preparing for the imminent battle, watching over his family, being reunited with his long-lost sweetheart, and trying, somehow, to stay in business, he barely has time to solve a murder.
With few clues and the constant distraction of war, can Cheswis protect the people of Nantwich? And which among them need protecting? Whether they are old friends or troubled family, in these treacherous times, everyone’s a traitor, in war, law, or love.
When the Winter Siege is through, who will be among the bodies?

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About the Author

D.W. Bradbridge was born in 1960 and grew up in Bolton. He has lived in Crewe, Cheshire since 2000, where he and his wife run a small magazine publishing business for the automotive industry.
“The inspiration for The Winter Siege came from a long-standing interest in genealogy and local history. My research led me to the realisation that the experience endured by the people of Nantwich during December and January 1643-44 was a story worth telling. I also realised that the closed, tension-filled environment of the month-long siege provided the ideal setting for a crime novel.
“History is a fascinating tool for the novelist. It consists only of what is remembered and written down, and contemporary accounts are often written by those who have their own stories to tell. But what about those stories which were forgotten and became lost in the mists of time?
“In writing The Winter Siege, my aim was to take the framework of real history and fill in the gaps with a story of what could, or might have happened. Is it history or fiction? It’s for the reader to decide.”
For more information please visit D.W. Bradbridge’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 7 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, April 8 Review at Must Read Faster
Wednesday, April 9 Review at Staircase Wit
Friday, April 11 Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Monday, April 14 Review at Princess of Eboli
Wednesday, April 16 Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Interview at Layered Pages
Thursday, April 17 Interview at MK McClintock Blog
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Friday, April 18 Review at bookramblings
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views


Series: N/A
Release Date: 23 September, 2013
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Purchase: Amazon
ISBN: 9781492795711
Edition: Paperback
Review Written: 10 April, 2014
The Winter Siege highlights a very interesting event time period in British History. Set in 1643, the events of this mystery-filled story center in on the month-long siege of the town of Nantwich in Chester County, England. David Cheswis has had the unfortunate luck to be the Constable of Nantwich, and the only one who can be found, when someone turns up dead in a ditch. But what happens when that person turns out to be a Royalist and also suspected spy to the cause of the King? Things begin to unravel quickly for Mr. Cheswis, who really just wants to expand his cheese business. 

Following the murder of one William Trech, Cheswis finds himself caught up in a series of unfortunate murders and being stretched the military leaders in town and the most prominent townsfolk. Throw in the previous love of his life, Alice, who has come back to town with her publisher husband who's interest lie not in actual news printing but in gaining the power of the masses behind him. Cheswis is in a race to solve the case of who's murdering parliamentary supporters and tying the sashes of the Royalist around them. However, when his own younger brother Simon becomes involved at the death of one of his friends, Cheswis finds himself privy to more information than he wishes to know about, namely letters of a sensitive nature from a Royalist. 

Bradbridge is a wonderful writer, and leaves you guess as to who the murderer (or murderers) could be with each twist of the novel. He's also picked a very interesting time in British history, a civil war little know about to the rest of the world, which was a delight to learn about.  The one minor thing that bothered me about his writing was the amount of detail. Don't get me wrong, I love details, especially historically accurate ones, however, there were places in The Winter Siege that were just overly detailed. The main character, David Cheswis often got sidetracked in his explanation to the readers about his ideas for a cheese business that quickly became redundant after the first several times he mentioned it. Aside from the slight hint of too much detail, Bradbridge's book will keep readers on the edge of their seat with anticipation. 

I would highly recommend this to the the casual reader as much as the Anglophiles out there. Happy reading everyone.

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