Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

In the tradition of Kate Mosse, a swiftly-paced mystery that stretches from modern London to Tudor England

In modern-day London, architectural historian and recovering alcoholic Annie Kendall hopes to turn her life around and restart her career by locating several long-missing pieces of ancient Judaica. Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, is soon drawn into her quest, both by romantic interest and suspicions about the head of the Shalom Foundation, the organization sponsoring her work. He’s also a dead ringer for the ghost of a monk Annie believes she has seen at the flat she is subletting in Bristol House.

In 1535, Tudor London is a very different city, one in which monks are being executed by Henry VIII and Jews are banished. In this treacherous environment of religious persecution, Dom Justin, a Carthusian monk, and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holborn must navigate a shadowy world of intrigue involving Thomas Cromwell, Jewish treasure, and sexual secrets. Their struggles shed light on the mysteries Annie and Geoff aim to puzzle out—at their own peril.

This riveting dual-period narrative seamlessly blends a haunting supernatural thriller with vivid historical fiction. Beverly Swerling, widely acclaimed for her City of Dreams series, delivers a bewitching and epic story of a historian and a monk, half a millennium apart, whose destinies are on a collision course.–Description from Goodreads

Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: April 4th 2013
by Viking Adult
ISBN
0670025933
(ISBN13: 9780670025930)
edition language
English
You can find this book HERE
My thoughts on this novel
Bristol House is the first of Beverly Swerling’s novels that I have read. I think I might be hooked. This book deals with both the past and the present and then ties them together in a seemingly effortless way.

Anyone who has studied religious history will clearly see how much reality is presented in this fictional tale. The author has done her research for this book and that made it a very enjoyable and ultimately unforgettable read.

I really liked the main character Annie. She was on point throughout the book and even though she found herself in a difficult to believe situation, she didn’t waste chapters self-doubting and trying to ignore what was plainly in front of her. Okay, so she is aware that there is the apparition of a dead monk in her flat, but she keeps moving. That’s my kind of heroine.

The romance in this work is evenly paced and believable and something that felt natural as the pages turned. I liked the male lead and thought the author did a good job of giving him traits and qualities that made him a good hero.

The dual time periods the author deals with make this a more interesting read than if all of the story had been told in only the present. I like the way she chose to shift between present and past and never felt lost or confused by the transitions.

In the end, this is a book that I would read a second time. I liked the overall story and didn’t have any trouble staying up late to finish this. I would recommend it to other readers who enjoy their fiction to be of mixed genres.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher.

7 thoughts on “Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

  1. I loved The Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, it sucks you in right from the beginning with dual storylines, also seamlessly blended into a captivating read. I have a feeling I will enjoy Bristol House as well. Thanks for the great review.

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