Plague Land, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor.

Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by the Plague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate.

He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants.

Yet some things never change. Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.

Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow.

The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it - by finding the real murderer - is quite a different matter.

Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife. And then the body of another girl is found. SD Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9781444785784



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Plague, Murder, Love and Villainy… is seventeen year old Oswald better off back in the Monastery or as Laird of his family estate? Set just after the end of the Bubonic Plague, Plague Land is about a younger son returning from a monastery, where he had been for almost a decade, to run the family estate after the death of his father and two older brothers. Oswald de Lacy brings his long time mentor and confidant, brother Peter, home with him to advise him on matters of his estate. When the body of a young local girl is found dead in the woods, the superstitions and finger pointing begin—but who is to blame? Is it the dog-headed beast of local lore or is it someone closer to home? I found the book enjoyable even though I found the tone of the story a bit too modern for the time. As a medieval history buff, the story kept my attention but as there were a few liberties taken with attitudes and thinking of the time period. It was a good escape for a vacation read… pleasant but not profound…I would recommend it for a light read to non-history buffs.

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