The Traitor’s Mark is the second book in the Thomas Treviot series by D.K. Wilson.
Summary (from Goodreads)
The Real Crime: Hans Holbein, King Henry VIII’s portrait painter, died in the autumn of 1543. A century later a chronicler reported that the artist had succumbed to plague, yet there is no contemporary evidence to support this. Suspicions have been raised over the centuries, but the mystery of what actually happened remains unsolved to this day.
Our Story: Young London goldsmith Thomas Treviot is awaiting a design for a very important jewelry commission from Hans Holbein. When the design fails to turn up, Thomas sends a servant to track Holbein down, only to discover that the painter has disappeared. In his hunt for Holbein and the lost design, Thomas is led into a morass of dangerous political intrigue, Spanish spies and courtiers that is more treacherous than he could ever have anticipated…
‘Dear God, the games these kings and great men play, using us for their cards and counters.’
I find this series so interesting. The idea of presenting a possible solution to a mystery or a crime approaching 500 years old is fascinating. Having read the first book in the series, The First Horseman and the third, The Devil’s Chalice, I knew I would enjoy this one too. And I did.
I like Thomas Treviot – he is a likeable main character. He has enough status to get him the contact he needs with some of the greatest personalities in the land, but he is also happy – happier even – amongst those of lower-standing, meaning that he can move fairly easily between social groups. Ned – a former monk who after the dissolution puts his knowledge of medicines to use as an apothecary – is also a great character. Though I think my favourite is Lizzie: she’s strong, intelligent, sensible and compassionate.
The Traitor’s Mark is a enjoyable mystery that will take you on a journey through Tudor London and the surrounding counties, which come to life with ease. The historical detail that is woven through the story is rich in depth though not heavy enough to weigh it down and slow its unfolding. There’s plenty of action and drama, and twists and turns to keep the story moving at a good pace. The political and religious turmoil of the times is clearly depicted and the story shows just how easy it was to get caught up in things, whether you wanted to be involved in them or not – a scary thought.
I really hope that there will be more books in this series, because all three of them have been excellent reads. I can’t recommend them high enough.