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PC Doherty

The Prince of Darkness

Headline 1992

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In 1301 peace exists between Edward of England and his arch rival Philip IV of France; a peace, diplomats hope, which will be confirmed by a marriage between the young Prince of Wales and Philip's daughter Isabelle. Nevertheless, in the fetid alleys and slums of medieval London and Paris the secret agents of both countries still fight their own silent, deadly battle. Philip hopes to break the peace with England by discovering some scandal touching the young English heir. He scents success, for the Prince of Wales wallows in luxury under the sinister influence of his homosexual favourite, the Gascon Peter Gaveston. Gaveston, the son of a witch, dabbles in the black arts and has secret political ambitions to dominate the young prince and the English crown. The Prince's secret scandals are threatened with exposure on the mysterious death of Lady Eleanor Belmont, formerly his mistress whom he has shut away in the nunnery of Godstowe Priory near Oxford. Eleanor is found dead at the foot of the stairs, her neck is broken but the hood on her head is scarcely disturbed. Was it suicide? An accident? Or malicious murder? Philip of France sends his envoy, Amaury de Craon, to dig in the rich dirt of the scandals at the English court. Edward of England, locked in a war against the Scots and fearful about his eldest son, turns to his own master spy, Hugh Corbett. Corbett - now lord of a manor and married to the love of his life, Maeve ap Llewellyn - is joined in his mission by his sly, lecherous but quick-witted servant Ranulf, and assisted by Ralph Maltote, a born horseman but the worst archer in the English army. Corbett's task takes him into the silent and complex world of Godstowe Priory, the haunting loneliness of the English countryside and the dark, dangerous streets of London. And he has to resolve not only Belmont's death but other grisly murders. In doing so, Corbett faces the deadly rivalry of de Craon, the murderous rage of Gaveston and the silent threats of assassins as well as the lies and silken deceits of his

PC Doherty


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