by Denise Domning
Narrated by Gildart Jackson
#3 Servant of the Crown
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 4.16.19| 8 hours 8 minutes
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
Digital copy provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
A leper’s daughter is found in the well of a dying hamlet and the only suspect has fled into Feckenham Forest. But the sun is setting and Warwickshire’s sheriff is hunting his new Crowner. That sends Sir Faucon de Ramis and Brother Edmund, his prickly clerk, racing for a nearby abbey only to meet the man he least wishes to see at the abbey gates. Before long, Faucon finds himself riding into the dark at Sir Alain’s side as they hunt for yet another lost innocent.
Sir Faucon de Ramis and his trusted, disgruntled clerk, Brother Edmund, continue on their job of investigating each death they are called to for assessing whether a fine should be administered for the King’s coffers when they come upon a new mystery.
A young girl’s body is pulled from a village well and all are certain that she fell in when Faucon spots the bruises in the shape of fingerprints about her neck. Then, as a sordid tale of rape, abuse, and neglect comes into the light, Faucon has the challenge of bringing justice for a dead girl and her leprous mother while Sir Alain, the sheriff of the shire, plots against Faucon’s life and a serial killer is abroad stalking a new victim.
Lost Innocents went darker than the previous two mysteries and it was emotionally difficult as dirty deeds and past views on women came to light for that medieval time period. Women had it rough and not just because of second class citizens, hard work and child bearing, but also because they were at the mercy of men who could abuse them with little recourse. All was well and good if the men around them were upstanding, but when not? Life was a nightmare. My heart ached for that poor leper.
The mystery wasn’t hard for a reader/listener to figure out though there were a few other criminals in that village and the environs that Faucon had to untangle quite a bit of sordid thread to bring justice using law and his own cunning against those who deserved it.
I couldn’t help thinking about how if the lady who owned that land had been a responsible landowner and checked, even occasionally on that village and if the priest who had that parish had not lazily refused to go there now and then that the evil would have been thwarted or at least kept to a minimum. That old adage about a watched pot not boiling over seemed to be true here. But those in authority and having responsibility were not present so petty tyranny and human depravity reigned and people suffered.
Of the three in the series so far, this book hit me emotionally and I loved seeing Faucon and Edmund rise to the challenge to clean up this mess of other’s doing even while only chance kept Faucon from having to face off against Alain and Alain’s men. Edmund may be supercilious at times, but I do love that his loyalty to law and Faucon are true.
Gildart Jackson continues to voice these stories and he’s a perfect match. This one went dark and he achieved a proper brooding tone to match and when the rise in action happened, he had me riveted and holding my breath. I loved the added depth his narration work brought to this book
All in all, I feel the series is getting better with each entry. I don’t know how many more there will be. The ongoing serial killer plot and now that surprise at the end having me champing at the bit for the next book. I enjoy how the author brings historical setting and circumstances alive paired with a clever mystery and can heartily recommend this book/series.
My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.