The Golden Cage

Crux Publishing Ltd
Free sample

1565. Their last mission on behalf of the Lord Chancellor nearly got them killed. Now back in England, former soldier Matthew Longstaff and his Italian wife, Aurélie, are living quietly in the countryside when news arrives from France; their closest friend has disappeared.

In London, fledgling spy-master Francis Walsingham suspects a traitor on Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council. In France, the physician Gaetan Durant is held at a secret location and forced to produce forgeries which will trigger a war. In Rome, the pope prepares a Bull of Excommunication against Elizabeth. Everything is connected. Trapped in this game of plot and counter-plot, Longstaff must journey to Paris in pursuit of his missing friend – and evidence of the enterprise taking shape against protestant England. Meanwhile in London, Aurélie’s attempts to track down the traitor lead to a lethal battle of wits against London’s most notorious astrologer.

Even if both succeed, it may already be too late. Wild, apocalyptic rumours race ahead of the separated lovers: of a lost Gospel in Christ’s own hand; of heretic queens and caged prophets. Only one thing seems certain – war is coming, an unholy inferno which threatens to consume all Europe…

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About the author

After studying art history in Glasgow, Tom Pugh invented a career as a travelling copywriter and teacher, living and working in London, Sydney and Tokyo before settling in Berlin with his wife and two children. The Golden Cage is his second novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Crux Publishing Ltd
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781909979826
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Historical / Renaissance
Fiction / Thrillers / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 “Pugh’s first novel is a magnificent achievement. Let us hope he returns to enthral us with another very soon.” 

David Dickinson, author of the Powerscourt series


The Otiosi? As far as Mathew Longstaff knows, they’re just a group of harmless scholars with an eccentric interest in the works of antiquity. When they ask him to travel east, to recover a lost text from Ivan the Terrible’s private library, he can’t think of anything but the reward – home. A return to England and an end to the long years of exile and warfare.

But the Otiosi are on the trail of a greater prize than Longstaff realises – the legendary ‘Devil’s Library’. And they are not alone. Gregorio Spina, the pope’s spymaster and chief censor, is obsessed with finding the Library. It’s not the accumulated wisdom of centuries he’s after – a swamp of lies and heresy in his opinion – but among the filth, like a diamond at the centre of the Devil’s black heart, Spina believes that God has placed a treasure, a weapon to defeat the Antichrist and pitch his hordes back into hell.

Only Longstaff, together with the unpredictable physician, Gaetan Durant, can stop Spina using the Library to plunge Europe into a second Dark Ages. The two adventurers fight their way south, from the snowfields of Muscovy to the sun-baked plains of Italy, where an ageing scholar and his beautiful, young protégé hold the final piece of the puzzle. But is it already too late? Can the four of them take on the might of the Roman Church and hope to win?

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