REVIEW: The Assassin of Verona by Benet Brandreth

The cover of Benet Brandreth's latest Shakespearean thrill The Assissin of Verona

Benet Brandreth

The Assassin of Verona

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: Zaffre

ISBN-10: 1785761552

ISBN-13: 978-1785761553

21 September, 2017

RATING: ****
REVIEWER: Janie Phillips

The Assassin of Verona is Benet Brandreth’s second novel about the famous bard’s lost years and it is evident to see from the start of this tale where Brandreth’s niche as a writer falls.

All is not well in Venice. Threatened daily by Papal assassins, William Shakespeare and his close friends Oldcastle and Hemminges are increasingly isolated – the lies that have protected them so far beginning to wear thin.

His companions want desperately to leave, but Will is tied to the city – his lover, the beautiful Isabella, is growing ever more sick. As tensions reach breaking point, their company is forced to split…

Brandreth’s style of writing draws you into the world of intrigue and conspiracy he has so wonderfully crafted immediately which sets the tone of the book very nicely. His extensive knowledge of Shakespeare and in particular his language flows beautifully onto the page creating the perfect atmosphere all the way through. Even his characters have a satisfying roundness to them – you can easily picture all of these characters in a Shakespeare play.

The plot moves along very quickly with reminders all the way through as to where the action is set; flitting to and from Veneto to Verona at the start of the book and then drawing to a dramatic end in the woods of Verona.

Not only is Brandreth’s knowledge of Shakespeare extensive, but also his unique approach to creating a story about the great man is one to be admired.

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