The Trail of Blood
by A.K. Nairn
Broken Man Books

"Tell your master that if he hopes to solve this mystery, he must simply follow the trail of blood."

Set in the 1500s in Scotland, this historical novel follows Antoine de Lissieu, newly appointed by Scotland’s Governor Albany “to be the next Warden of the Eastern Marches and bring order to that lawless region, once and for all.” Antoine dreads this assignment as “The Marches were a notorious hellhole, run by corrupt warlords and bandits, not civilized men like him.” What greets Antoine in this harsh land reinforces this belief. The mutilated body of a man has been discovered, and Antoine must solve the murder and render justice to his family. During the investigation, Antoine meets a strange woman whom most of the natives consider a witch and the savvy prioress of a convent. Nothing, however, is as it seems in this murder mystery, and Antoine learns much about these fierce Scots and himself as he navigates the political quagmire of medieval Scotland.

Nairn brings this turbulent time to life in this historical murder mystery. As the main character, Antoine, strives to solve a mysterious murder, he is met with intrigue at every turn. A mistaken identity, a missing wife, and illegal arms movements are just a few of the obstacles he faces. Descriptions of the harsh land and life of the Marches offer an interesting glimpse of life in this environment. The many unexpected plot twists in this mystery keep the action moving along at a fast pace. The author is a master storyteller who grabs the reader’s attention with descriptive details and who also has the skill to keep one guessing until the very end. Nairn's novel is a fascinating read with enough surprises to keep both history and mystery buffs reading late into the night.

Return to USR Home