The Last Hours (Black Death, #1) by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands. In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future - including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus ...

Details The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

TitleThe Last Hours (Black Death, #1)
Release DateAug 7th, 2018
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Medieval, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

  • Maureen
    It's the year 1348, and the little port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire will become known as the place where the sickness 'The Black Death' began.No one knows the reason for this sickness, how and why it spread so quickly or why it killed so many. The church is happy to preach that God is the reason behind it - that it's a punishment for sins and wickedness.Lady Anne of Develish thinks differently, she is something of a rare female in this period in ...
  • Diane S ☔
    In the past, Walters has written some chilling and intense thrillers, but it has been ten years since her last full length published novel. In this one she turns her extensive talent to a well researched historical. There is still a suspicious death, in fact there are many deaths as this book tackles the horrifying and world altering, Black Death.The year is 1348, and Sir Richard is traveling to another demense in order to negotiate a marriage fo...
  • Miriam Smith
    I've been a follower of Minette Walters' books for some time now and constantly enjoyed reading her many entertaining and intriguing novels. She has a unique writing style and I always loved how she incorporated newspaper/media articles into her many stories. Therefore I was very excited to hear she had written an historical fiction novel, as this has been a genre I've been more and more enjoying of late. Sadly, I was quite disappointed in 'The L...
  • Marialyce
    4.5 ever engrossing starsThe Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Estimates vary, but the Black Death may have killed one-half of Europe's population, and about 100 million people worldwide. If you love the blend of history with characters of long ago, this book will certainly be one you will be wanting to delve into. The black death, a killer disease, spread through and car...
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestMy friends, I want to tell you about this book. Minette Walters is one of my favorite crime fiction authors, and I was psyched when I found out that she was writing a work of historical fiction. The length is intimidating - it's a whopping 547 pages - but please don't let this keep you from reading this wondrous tome. It's everything I love in fiction, and the pages just flew by. I tore throu...
  • Linda
    "All has been looted, betrayed, sold; Black Death's wing flashed ahead. (Anna Akhmatova)A plague, beyond all human proportions of the imagination, seeped into the lives of all in 1348. Death knows no social standings, no rankings. It snuffs out the life of one who wears the weight of the crown as well as those who palm the rake of the fields. A devilish betrayer of the pure or the wicked of heart.Lady Anne of Develish in Dorsetshire has bid farew...
  • Paromjit
    Minette Walters enters new territory with this beautifully written, atmospheric, and historically detailed look at a community in the medieval era, a tragic period that devastated European populations in 1348 with the arrival of the Black Death through a Dorset port. The plague is no respecter of social distinctions and class, as it hits everyone alike as it moves swiftly in its rampage across the country, leaving enormous numbers of dead in its ...
  • Phrynne
    I have read quite a few books by Minette Walters, all of them dark, disturbing crime novels. I would rate her as one of my favourite crime writers and now she suddenly turns to Historical Fiction! But that's okay too because I like HF and Walters is a talented writer. She could probably write anything she chose.The Last Hours is unquestionably a good book. The period in England surrounding the Black Death is always interesting (try Doomsday Book ...
  • Beata
    To begin with, I woud like to thank HARLEQUIN - MIRA (US and Canada) and Netgalley for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.I wanted to read this book since I have read several non-fiction books on the Black Death. I was curious how this topic could be dealt with in a novel. The Author did an exeptionally thorough research into the pestilence which arrived in England in 1348. In fact, what prompted her to write this par...
  • Susan
    “A Black Death has fallen upon our land…”I have never read anything by Minette Walters before, but am aware she is best known for writing crime novels. As such, this is something of a change for her, being historical fiction. In fact, in a way, this is almost a modern dystopian novel, set in the historical setting of 1348 amidst the sweeping plague of the Black Death. It is set around the household of Sir Richard of Develish, who, when we m...
  • Brenda
    June 1348, and Sir Richard and his entourage were away from their home of Develish when the Black Death struck – thought to be brought to England’s shores by sailors, it was an enemy no one knew how to combat. But Sir Richard’s wife, Lady Anne, had her own thoughts – reared by nuns, she knew to isolate the sick from the well, and she set to close their community off to anyone travelling past; even her own husband and his men were stopped ...
  • Carol ꧁꧂
    2.5✰ - very weak, pallid stars.From my status updates;February 10, 2018 – page 76 13.89% "Love the cover& good beginning, but it is starting to feel like a 21st century woman has been transplanted into 14th century England. Walter's writing style is very readable though, so let's see how I get on! :)"February 11, 2018 – page 166 30.35% "Really flat characters - you are a good guy or a bad guy, there is no in between."February 15, 2018 –...
  • Rachel Hall
    The Last Hours served as both my introduction to the writing of Minette Walters and to the genre of historical fiction. As a reader of crime thrillers I was drawn by virtue of the authors reputation and that the novel is essentially a character driven examination of the new beginnings that the Black Death heralded for many. The pestilence did much more than simply claim the lives of swathes of men; it also created a series of religious, social an...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.In The Last Hours we find ourselves in the village of Melcombe, Dorset 1348. The Black Death has taken Britain, and all - old or young, rich or poor, are subject to its whim. Many believe it is a curse sent from God, but Lady Anne has other ideas. Raised by nuns, she has the foresight that could save her household - by barring the door to the sick and isolating them from everyone els...
  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    Year 1348...The black death spreads over England.In the countryside, there lives an extraordinary women for the time being: Lady Anne Develish. She has a useless husband, and a very up-in-the-air young daughter. the whole responsibility of the well being of the estate and her people falls on Lady Anne's shoulders. In the mission to survive, she will befriend a slave called Thaddeus Thurkell... Lady Anne's uncommon decisions and actions will soon ...
  • Ian
    Lady Anne of Develish is a truly modern woman. She is basically an atheist in 14th Century England. If she was a Christian she would be a saint for the miracle of saving her entire village from the black death. She has introduced modern hygiene and even managed to invent the morning after pill so women can have control of their own reproductive rights. But proper 14th Century bad guys abound and together with her band of plucky serfs she must def...
  • Emma
    Well researched book set in the time of the Black Death of 1348 - it’s victims and survivors. This focuses more on the social shift, where peasants who survive begin to have more bargaining power as so many people die - a time where social status could change quite dramatically. I’ve read many stories set during this snapshot of British history and this one is pretty much on par.I felt the pace was quite slow in places, not too much of a stor...
  • Sonja Arlow
    When the Black Death enters England in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. Religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.The story plays off in the small town of Develish where some of the first victims include Lord Richard when he visited a nearby estate to arrange a marriage for his 14-year old daughter. His estate is left vulnerab...
  • Marianne
    The Last Hours is the eighteenth novel by British author, Minette Walters, and is a departure from her usual genre of crime/psychological thriller: this one is historical fiction. It’s June 1348, and the Plague has just arrived in England. The population is completely unprepared for the devastation this disease will wreak, but a scant few demesnes are better equipped to handle it than most. A Saxon, Lady Anne of Develish in Dorsetshire was rais...
  • Jeanette
    I waited an entire day to ponder this review. Trying to think of a reason to give it the 3rd star. I failed.This is a series, I'd guess from the ending here. But even if I had known that it would not have made a difference. Not in my decision to read it, continue it or to develop interest or joy in the reading.First of all- it is far more some type of fantasy alternative history than it is any sense or measure of an historical fiction work. But t...
  • Samantha
    I selected this book based on an online recommendation. The cover and description were appealing, so I decided to give it a shot. The author is new to me, but the era of history is not. Fourteenth century history does, however, seem to be unfamiliar to the author.Very little of the attitudes, speech, and beliefs of the characters in this book felt 14th century to me. Besides being flat, one-dimensional characters, many of them sounded like modern...
  • Kate
    Darkly wonderful.
  • Megan
    Well, this was disappointing.My copy of this novel had the phrase ‘compelling and suspenseful’ included in the blurb, but sadly, I found this to be anything but.The premise of ‘The Last Hours’ surrounds a small community of souls trying to survive through the deadly epidemic of the Black Plague in the 14th century. Given the 500+ page length, that screams ‘character-driven-novel’, but this is where my problem arises.The characters are...
  • Kaethe
    The first outbreaks of the Black Death in Dorset. There is crime and secrets and lies, but this is counterbalanced by great kindness and cooperation and thought. You wouldn't think it could be a hopeful kind of book, but even as the plague strikes so swiftly with such high mortality, it does free up all the wealth and power that was gathered into so few hands.Now I just have to wait for the story to be continued.It's situations like this that mak...
  • MaryannC.Book Fiend
    This was a riveting and engrossing read for me. The Black Death has come to Dorsetshire in the Summer of 1348 and Lady Anne of Develish is trying to help the people of her demesne survive after most of the surrounding countryside has succumbed to the horrible outbreak. The book begins with her husband Richard, a boorish, unsympathetic man who rules his wife and serfs with an iron hand as he travels to a nearby estate to secure his daughter Eleano...
  • Margaret
    I won an uncorrected proof copy of this from a giveway on Goodreads by publisher Allen & Unwin.I don't usually associate Minette Walters with historical fiction, but after reading this, I want her to write more."The Last Hours" tells the story of a moated manor in Dorsetshire as the Black Death of 1348 sweeps through. It is a book that, because of its limited scope for changing scenes, relies heavily on its characters. And they are excellent char...
  • ☕ Kimberly
    The Last Hours by Minette Walters takes near the port in Dorsetshire in June 1348 where it is believed the Black Death (plague) entered England.  With her husband away, Lady Anne of Develish along with her serfs take drastic measures to ensure their safety. Isolation, discord and danger made for a clever tale. Imagine if you would a dark mysterious plague coming to your door. It doesn't discriminate and none survive. Throughout Dorsetshire who...
  • Marjorie
    The Church believes that God has sent The Black Death amongst the people of England as punishment. It’s 1348 and no one understands how this plague kills so quickly. Fear is rampant. But Lady Anne of Develesh has some knowledge of sanitation and the spread of disease and she decides to quickly bring in all of the serfs inside her manor house which is protected by a moat. When her husband, the brutish Sir Richard, returns home from visiting a pr...
  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    Year 1348...The black death spreads over England.In the countryside, there lives an extraordinary women for the time being: Lady Anne Develish. She has a useless husband, and a very up-in-the-air young daughter. the whole responsibility of the well being of the estate and her people falls on Lady Anne's shoulders. In the mission to survive, she will befriend a slave called Thaddeus Thurkell... Lady Anne's uncommon decisions and actions will soon ...