The Last Hours

The Last Hours

Book - 2017
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For most, the Black Death is the end. For a brave few, it heralds a new beginning.

Widowed by her husband's death from the pestilence, Lady Anne assumes control of his people's future--200 bonded serfs without rights of ownership to land. Strong, compassionate and resourceful--qualities she kept hidden from the husband she loathed and despised--Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside a defendable moat and sharing the available food amongst all. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflict arises when they're given a voice. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and the terrible uncertainty of their futures. They fear starvation when their food runs out but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the safety of the demesne in search of supplies and news? And how safe is anyone in Develish when an unexplained murder threatens the uneasy status quo?

In The Last Hours Minette Walters brings all her trademark intelligence to a totally new timeframe--creating a vivid and powerful drama through compelling characters whose journey readers will be drawn to. The Last Hours is an exciting new direction from an established best-selling author and Minette is currently writing the sequel.

Publisher: Toronto :, HarperCollinsPublishersLtd,, ©2017.
Edition: Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443455312
Branch Call Number: FICTION WAL
Characteristics: 549 pages : maps ; 24 cm


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Mar 18, 2020

Social distance at a really significant level. The story of surviving a pandemic. A must read in 2020.

Feb 17, 2020

Wow! What a story. I wish I hadn't read it during the Coronavirus scare, but wow! I could quibble that it is more fantasy than historical romance, but who cares when a story is this engaging and the characters so compelling and the setting so vivid?
I'm putting this on the "must read" list I share with other people.

Oct 11, 2019

Loved most of it but felt let-down by the ending. Then I found out there is a second book so there is hope.

Jun 03, 2019

A good story that gives the reader an idea of life during the plague in the 1300s.

Apr 02, 2019

One of the best reads in quite awhile for me. Fascinating story that kept me spellbound and hard to put down. Looking forward to the follow-up book to see how the story ends.

Feb 23, 2019

I can praise this novel if I look at it as a story that just happens to have a background time of the Black Plague. It doesn't get accurate or detailed about the plague itself but rather it centers around love, murder, and mayhem during that time. Protecting the life of the inhabitants of the castle and survival are key. Yes, it was a bit babbling at times but made for a light, engaging read.

Jan 20, 2019

I was very excited to order in thru the library and read a new M. Walters novel. Now it is in my hands after waiting weeks, and I am scrambling to decide if she even wrote this.
I don't actively dislike the book. But it drags on and the characters are seriously unbelievable as is the talking. They would never have spoken that way back then. It smacks of 2019. They woudn't have had cause to think in the terms you are led to believe they do.
It was with relief I read other readers comments as I so wanted to not think it was only me feeling the gross disappointment in the reading of a MW novel
Gosh, what was she thinking... or better yet... whom did she employ to thrash this stuff out for her to stay "in the game"? Totally sad, will not read any sequel.

Dec 31, 2018

Where to begin... perhaps with cutting a hundred or so pages of the same arguments/discussions/issues, revisited again and again to no apparent purpose or resolution. About halfway through I said to my wife, "oh, don't tell me they are going to figure out it was carried by the fleas on the rats!"
Reader, they did - improbably, within months of the first outbreak, centuries ahead of anyone else coming to that conclusion. And those must have been raciing rats, to so quickly spread a disease that requires time to penetrate a population first of rats and then humans.
While I might wish the intellectual level of discussion amongst the serfs could be found among my friends, this, too, was a bit beyond my suspension of disbelief.
My first thought as I finished the book was, I'm surprised MW was satisfied with that. Then I learned there is to be a sequel, which I am confident I will be able to resist.

Oct 04, 2018

This is a terrific read. Well-drawn characters, good plot, and a great depiction of rural England on the cusp of the Black Death. This was my first Minette Walters book, and I was intrigued when I began to read more of her work, that the rest of her writing is nothing like The Last Hours. Also, I just finished The Scribe of Siena, which is centered around Siena in 1348, the same year as The Last Hours. Which I highly recommend as well.

Aug 16, 2018

Not having read a Walters book in awhile, I quite enjoyed the new genre. The writing was easily read, engaging, an the story line quite interesting. However, towards the end of the book, just as the action was getting going, it was like Walters was in a hurry to come to a close, and the book conclusion was very weak and rather disappointing.

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