First edition. Signed by the author. As new, unread in fine dust jacket. "Minette Walters announces first book in a decade and a departure from crime fiction." When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future including the lives of two hundred serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Lady Anne's people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls? How safe is anyone in Develish when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo? "Compelling and suspenseful, The Last Hours is a riveting tale of human ingenuity and endurance against the worst pandemic known to history. In Lady Anne of Develish - leader, saviour, heretic - Walters has created her most memorable heroine to date."
Inventory Number: 43693