One of the strongest points is the realistic grit of 1590 London (and the Low Countries). Bawdy and squalid, violent and smutty.
The plot centers on the collapse of a spy network in the wake of the death of Walsingham. The remnants of the burned network try to reestablish contact, while the burners try to stamp them out.
Historical fiction of rebellious English Catholics or cleavers slicing off body parts? Yes.
Book challenge criteria:
published this year
mystery or thriller
A popular author's first book (we'll see)
recommended by a friend