A remarkable and meticulously researched novel from award-winning writer Alan Judd, exploring the life of literary genius Kit Marlowe, whose violent death compose one of the most fascinating unresolved mysteries of all time. In Elizabethan England, the Queen’s chief spymaster, Francis Walsingham, and his team of agents must maintain the highest levels of vigilance to ward off Catholic plots and the ever-present threat of invasion.
One agent in particular – a young Cambridge undergraduate of humble origins, controversial beliefs and literary genius who goes by the name of Kit Marlowe – is relentless in his pursuit of intelligence for the Crown. When he is killed outside an inn in Deptford, his mysterious death becomes the subject of rumours and suspicion that are never satisfactorily resolved. Years later, when Thomas Phelippes, a former colleague of Marlowe’s, finds himself imprisoned in the Tower, there is one thing that could give him his freedom back.
He must give the king every detail he is able to recall about his murdered friend’s life and death. But why is King James so fascinated about Kit Marlowe – and does Phelippes know enough to secure his own redemption?