James Forrester - Historical Fiction Novelist

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Books in Print
Sacred Treason
Roots of Betrayal

"James Forrester captures the sights, smells and dangers of Tudor England and tells a gripping story."

Philippa Gregory


Sacred Treason

Henry Machyn's chronicle

London in 1563

UK blogtour, 2010

USA blogtour, 2012


UK Publisher's website

USA Publisher's website

Audiobook website

Czech publisher's website

Danish publisher's website

Polish publisher's website

Latvian publisher's website

Hungarian publisher's website

Sacred Treason Reviews

'I like the novel intensely. A vivid sense of place, a growing sense of threat, James Forrester captures the sights, smells and dangers of Tudor England and tells a gripping story' (Philippa Gregory)

'A clever and enthralling historical thriller that not only brings the sixteenth century vividly to life but manages to be historically accurate in the process' (Robert Goddard)

'An ingenious, authentically imagined treat from an author who knows how to conjure up a vanished world' The Times, 24 July 2010 (Peter Millar)

'A really absorbing thriller... Forrester writes gripping fiction, with realistic characters who retain their historical plausibility.' The Financial Times, 13 August 2010 (A. N. Wilson)

'Vivid and dramatic, with some nail-biting set pieces involving the sacking of houses and a headlong pursuit through a maze of secret passages, Sacred Treason wears its considerable research lightly.' The Guardian, 14 August 2010 (Laura Wilson)

'An impressive debut. Full of authentic detail and based on solid historical facts, it brings the mid-sixteenth century colourfully to life.' The Yorkshire Evening Post, 23 August 2010 (Robert Colbeck)

'Dazzling... Forrester’s historical knowledge enables him to perfectly capture the perilous politics of an age in which a man’s religion often determined his destiny. With spine-tingling suspense, plenty of codes to be cracked and a ruthless State machine indulging in executions and torture, Sacred Treason delivers all the action and menace of The Da Vinci Code but with a more measured and credible plot. ' The Lancashire Evening Post, 25 August 2010 (Pam Norfolk)

'The hunted man becomes the hunter in an exciting chase complete with priests in disguise and priests’ holes, murder, mystery, infidelity, and mayhem at appropriately close quarters – an exciting and involving story full of period atmosphere.' The Literary Review, September 2010 (Jessica Mann)

'Elizabethan thrillers in which Walsingham and Cecil conspire to do nasty things to Catholics are ten-a-groat right now, but Forrester brightens up worn material with narrative drive and arresting historical detail. This is unsurprising as Forrester, in reality, is the bestselling popular historian Dr Ian Mortimer. He is adept at creating violent set pieces in which to involve his hapless hero, herald William Harley.' The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2010 (Jake Kerridge)

'This foray into Tudor cultural secrets is unrivalled in prose and plot.' The Oxford Times, 21 October 2010 (Colin Gardiner)

'A gripping thriller with a vivid sense of time and place.' Choice magazine, May 2011

'Forrester vividly renders emotional scenes, and the book’s villains are sufficiently despicable to keep readers rooting for Clarenceux in this strong beginning to the trilogy.' Publishers Weekly, 27 August 2012

'Writing fiction as James Forrester, medieval historian Ian Mortimer provides an authentically detailed backdrop for this fast-paced Elizabethan thriller.' Margaret Flanagan, Booklist Review, 6 September 2012

'This historical mystery contains plenty of adventure with vivid and detailed evocations of time, place and character during a tumultuous period of religious persecution.' Four stars. British Weekly, 19 October 2012

'Fans of Elizabethan fiction are legion, and they won’t be disappointed by the fierce action and plot twists of this historical thriller.' Eric Norton, Library Journal, 9 November 2012.