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Hue & Cry: A Hew Cullen Mystery (The Hew…

Hue & Cry: A Hew Cullen Mystery (The Hew Cullan Mysteries) (original: 2010; edição: 2010)

de Shirley McKay (Autor)

Séries: Hew Cullan (1)

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843248,830 (3.64)3
Young lawyer, Hew Cullan, returns home from France. But for Hew it is a cold homecoming as the discovery of the dead body of a young boy sees his friend, Nicholas Colp, accused of murder.
Título:Hue & Cry: A Hew Cullen Mystery (The Hew Cullan Mysteries)
Autores:Shirley McKay (Autor)
Informação:Polygon (2010), 320 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:historical-fiction, mystery, stuart

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Hue and Cry de Shirley McKay (2010)


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Hew Cullen has been studying in France for several years but is coming home to Scotland. On his return to St Andrews he finds himself embroiled in murder and corruption involving his friends, his University colleagues and even his family. in Scotland in the late 16th Century the Kirk holds sway and a terror of witchcraft means that many are vulnerable. The discovery of a dead boy at the weavers shop links commercial pressure with sin and also a scholarly scandal that Hew must unravel to save his sister and his former tutor.

What's good about this book is the plot. It's clever mix of murder and corruption which is not completely obvious but makes complete sense when revealed. Hew is not really an effective detective but does make connections and the device of using the King as the arbiter of justice is artfully written. The problem with the book is more about the sense of time and place. Great chunks of the book can be read without knowledge that this is taking place in Scotland, and even more without knowledge of the 1580s. The occasional bit of vernacular language drops in and reference to plaid/burn etc are not enough.

Having said that the book is an easy read and quite engaging, it wouldn't stop me carrying on to read others in the series. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
Inescapably I thought of the Matthew Shardlake mystery I read last year – lured by what I’d heard of its dirty streets of 16th century England, C.J. Sansom’s sensory evocation of setting. Here I am in 16th century Scotland, in a novel written first to evoke time and place, with a gritty detailed realism, that stands your hair on end. I’ll go on with my Shardlakes but I found this one even more effective, and Hew Cullan has jumped the queue.

The writing is a joy. I notice in the author biography she did postgrad study in seventeenth-century prose; she knows how to write the sixteenth century into her sentences – without being difficult, but with an authenticity achieved. She does a shifting point-of-view that textures the novel, that makes people come alive – she enters their consciousness, and when they’re in an extreme experience, her impressionistic writing can get it across. It’s like a milder dose of what Robert Low did in The Lion Wakes (also very Scottish). In short I’ll read anything written like this, mystery or whatever.

I found the story strong. Who did what just isn’t what matters; I’m a bad guesser at mysteries and didn’t foresee much; it was a story about the university, and the kirk, and the society of St Andrews; and it was well-ended. Ends are hard to do. When I say it’s toe-curling – I had a real sense of horror, the more so because she can be understated – it’s not one of those ‘nasty, brutish and short’ books, but about a struggling humanity. Hew is too humane for his profession of the law. Can he and his friends save society’s victims? That is the question. ( )
  Jakujin | Jan 31, 2014 |
i have to hold my hand up and say that I am not much of a fiction reader, and am reading this more for a sense of the time and place. I'm interested in that particular period in Scottish history and sometimes fiction can help to flesh out the historical fact.
That element I actually found quite successful, good description of both the physical and religious environment of the time, so different from ours which managed to be informative without being clunky. Hew Cullan, the central character is described at the end as something of a mystery, and whether or not it was deliberate, the character does sometimes seem to fade in and out of the story, with minor characters taking centre stage. The ending did seem to rely on a bit of a coincidence to wrap up the story. ( )
  antisyzygy | Nov 20, 2011 |
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Young lawyer, Hew Cullan, returns home from France. But for Hew it is a cold homecoming as the discovery of the dead body of a young boy sees his friend, Nicholas Colp, accused of murder.

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