‘Rivers of Treason’ by K.J. Maitland

Author : K.J. Maitland
Title : Rivers of Treason
Series : Daniel Pursglove #3
Pages : 430
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : April 13, 2023
Source : Netgalley


London, 1607. As dawn breaks, Daniel Pursglove rides north, away from the watchful eye of the King and his spies.

He returns, disguised, to his childhood home in Yorkshire – with his own score to settle. The locals have little reason to trust a prying stranger, and those who remember Daniel do so with contempt.

When a body is found with rope burns about the neck, Daniel falls under suspicion. On the run, across the country, he is pursued by a ruthless killer whose victims all share the same gallows mark. Are these the crimes of someone with a cruel personal vendetta – or has Daniel become embroiled in a bigger, and far more sinister, conspiracy?

A new river of treason is rising, flowing from the fields of Yorkshire right to the heart of the King’s court . . .


Rivers of Treason‘ is the third book in the Daniel Pursglove series, and yes, before you ask, you should definitely read the previous two. Some of the background is explained but it isn’t nearly enough to get a good handle on the continuing storyline, the character that is Daniel or his actions.

Daniel is supposed to stay in London. But Daniel often doesn’t do as he’s told so he rides off to Yorkshire and the village where he was born. Daniel has a score to settle. Well, more than one, to be fair. But there are things he needs to learn first, pieces of a puzzle he needs to put together. Daniel thinks his childhood home is where he will find the answers to his questions, but he will need to be careful so as not to be discovered.

When a body is found, fingers immediately point to the stranger in the midst of the village, and Daniel has no choice but to flee. However, it seems the killer is following him across the country, leaving bodies in his wake. Is the murderer trying to send a message, just having fun, on a personal vendetta? Or is Daniel in deeper trouble than he realises?

I thought ‘Rivers of Treason‘ got off to somewhat of a slow start. Daniel seemed to do a lot of traveling back and forth, but other than that it didn’t really feel like much was happening. There was no way I was going to give up though, because I have really been enjoying this series. And once things started to pick up somewhat, I once again became entirely immersed and keen to find out more about Daniel’s past. Although the reader gets to know him a little better, there still seems to be much left to discover. Bit of a mystery still, this here Daniel.

That said, good grief, is this series complex or what?! I admit I’m not at all familiar with this era in English history, apart from knowing a wee bit about the Gunpowder plot. I often struggle to keep the names of characters, real or fictional, clear in my head. I have a hard time figuring out what their positions are, especially with respect to the King. It seems evil plotters and conspiracies are everywhere, and for many it is apparently nothing more but a fun game of politics and power.

I can’t imagine the research that must go into these novels. The fabulous descriptions almost make you feel like your foot is stuck in mud, or gag at the food that’s served. Maitland’s writing really brings this part of history to life, creating an atmosphere that is wonderfully immersive. Gruesome murders aside, and there’s one I’m particularly upset about, there are also a few wonderful subplots. One, involving an apothecary, definitely caught my attention. Others just managed to confuse me. For now. I’m assuming it’ll all become clear at some point. Somehow, it feels as if the story takes two steps forward and then one back again. If at any point I was waiting for some clarity, it didn’t really appear. I didn’t mind though. I enjoyed this third instalment once it got going, and I think readers of historical fiction fans will do so as well.

I sure hope the author knows where Daniel’s story is going though, because I sure as heck don’t, but I’m eager to find out.

Amazon UK [out today!]

My thanks to the publisher for the advanced review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  2 comments for “‘Rivers of Treason’ by K.J. Maitland

  1. April 13, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Fantastic review I’m definitely going to check this series out!

    Liked by 1 person

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