The Last Hours

A Novel

by Minette Walters

On Sale: 04/17/2018

The Last Hours

Enlarge Book Cover

The Last Hours

A Novel

by Minette Walters

On Sale: 04/17/2018


About the Book

For most, the Black Death is the end. For a brave few, it heralds a new beginning.

Widowed by her husband’s death from the pestilence, Lady Anne assumes control of his people’s future—200 bonded serfs without rights of ownership to land. Strong, compassionate and resourceful—qualities she kept hidden from the husband she loathed and despised—Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside a defendable moat and sharing the available food amongst all. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflict arises when they’re given a voice. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and the terrible uncertainty of their futures. They fear starvation when their food runs out but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the safety of the demesne in search of supplies and news? And how safe is anyone in Develish when an unexplained murder threatens the uneasy status quo?

In The Last Hours Minette Walters brings all her trademark intelligence to a totally new timeframe—creating a vivid and powerful drama through compelling characters whose journey readers will be drawn to. The Last Hours is an exciting new direction from an established best-selling author and Minette is currently writing the sequel.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Wonderful and sweeping…with a fabulous sense of place and history.” - Kate Mosse, Labyrinth

“The pace never flags … enjoyed it immensely.” - Kate Forsyth, Bitter Greens

A vividly-wrought and powerful story. With The Last Hours, Minette Walters has brought her impressive skill as a writer of psychological crime to create a dark and gripping depiction of Medieval England in the jaws of the Black Death.” - Elizabeth Fremantle, The Tudor Trilogy

“Deeply researched and engrossing, this masterful series opener leaves readers hanging—Rats!—so they’ll eagerly await the sequel.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A sweeping narrative, marked ‘To Be Continued’ at its end, The Last Hours draws us into the terrifying world of its characters.” - Sunday Times (London)

“…gripping and original…” - BBC History Magazine  

“Beautifully written, atmospheric and always gripping.” - forwinternights

“Sly pacing and a detached narrative voice give this horror story exceptional punch.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Reads like a particularly grim Grimm’s Fairy Tale, with an all-too-credible contemporary setting. . . . Gratifyingly menacing.” - Daily Mail (UK)

“Contemporary crime writing at its absolute peak.” - Val McDermid

“A compulsive (and gruesome) read.” - Independent (UK)

“This compact, well-told and extraordinarily atmospheric story packs more punch than many much longer books.” - The Guardian


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443455312
  • ISBN 10: 1443455318
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 04/17/2018
  • Pages: 560
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / General

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