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

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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Kate
    Darkly wonderful.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • C. A. Powell
    I’ve read a number of Minette Walters’ novels. I have enjoyed them all. There often seems to be a past theme in a character's history with psychological impacts etc. Such things are understandable because they are set in modern day times. The people or characters that unravel the crimes or conundrums seem to be well educated or equipped with knowledge in some way. This story is set during The Black Death in Medieval England during the 1340s d...
  • Lia
    meh - just not for me.I'm bored. DNF at 55%
  • Ellie
    Unlike many people who will be picking up this book, I've not read any of Minette Walters' thrillers, although I may have seen adaptations on the telly. Neither am I a fan of historical fiction of this period but I was drawn to The Last Hours by the plague aspect and the local connection.The year is 1348 and a pestilence is spreading through Dorsetshire. In the demesne of Develish, the Lord is a horrid piece of work and his daughter isn't much be...
  • 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...
  • Jo
    I won this in the giveaways in exchange for an honest review. It's 1348 and the Black Death has come to Dorset. Lady Anne Develish brings all her people into the inner sanctum to ensure the plague does not enter their community. This was something of a departure for Walters who is known for her contemporary crime fiction. But still excellent all the same because no matter what century, human psychology rarely changes (love, lust, anger, jealousy,...
  • Lian Tanner
    There's something utterly delightful about stepping into a new book written by an author you trust and admire. That was the case for me with 'The Last Hours', and Minette Walters didn't let me down. She has created such a highly believable world both in and around Develish, with wonderful characters and a gripping story. Historical fiction is a real turnaround for Walters, and she has done a fine job of it. To my joy, there's another book coming ...
  • Helga
    The Last Hours is a very well written historical novel from Minette Walters, one of my favorite authors. It is an exceptional and informative story with unique and realistic characters. The story does not end with this book and we will continue our journey in a sequel surely as amazing and captivating as the first one. Thanks to Minette and The Pigeonhole for many hours of pleasurable reading along with other amazing readers.
  • Karen
    I received this from in exchange for a review. Lady Anne of Develish has ways to protect her people than the daily confessions of sin recommended by the Bishop. Anne gathers her serfs within the gates of Develish and refuses entry to outsiders, even to her husband.The book should be labeled under romance, not just historical fiction. The writing was readable, but the story lost credibility when I read "she dreamt of humbling him". ...
  • Sue
    I was furious when I finished this book. 550 pages and no conclusion??!! Nowhere on the book does it say that this is a 2-part story. I gave it my attention for all 550 pages and yet I don't know how this story ends. Now then: I believe that there's a contract that begins when a reader opens a book. The reader promises hours of their time and concentration. The author's part in the contract is to round the story off with a proper conclusion. Well...