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A Fine Madness Reviews

A Fine Madness by Alan Judd

A Fine Madness

Alan Judd

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: Thrillers, Fiction
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publication date: 18 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9781471180217

'A masterful storyteller with an intricate knowledge of his subject.' The Daily Telegraph

4 stars out of 5
Jude Cook
15 May 2021

"(A) taut, clever, thought-provoking thriller."

Judd’s coup is to question whether they really were machinations at all, or just coincidences. Or even the fallout from a hidden homosexual relationship between Marlowe and Walsingham’s cousin, the dedicatee of the posthumously published Hero and Leander. The ramifications are endless, the answers few. As Phelipps comments: ‘Most of us are like fishes in the lives of others, a silvery flank glimpsed once and never seen again.’ Fortunately, Judd keeps us guessing until the last pages of this taut, clever, thought-provoking thriller.


4 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
21 Mar 2021

"a (mostly) convincing portrait of the mercurial dramatist "

he short life and violent death of the playwright Christopher “Kit” Marlowe have long provided material for novelists intrigued by his possible involvement in the shadowy world of 16th-century espionage. The latest is Alan Judd, who has previously written of 20th-century spies and skilfully evokes the atmosphere of suspicion and fear in which their Elizabethan counterparts worked. The story is told by Thomas Phelippes, former right-hand man to the queen’s spymaster, Francis Walsingham, who, imprisoned 30 years later, records what he remembers of his friend Marlowe.

4 stars out of 5
Laura Wilson
19 Mar 2021

" a vivid and credible tale of espionage"

another well-researched splice of fiction and historical fact, focusing on playwright Christopher Marlowe, whose death in 1593 – a fatal stabbing in a Deptford tavern ...

There follows a vivid and credible tale of espionage, dissent and intellectual discourse, with the past brought to teeming, pungent life at a time when religion loomed large and the threat of death, from both human and nature, was ever present.