Dunne, Mar 2003, 24.95, 336 pp.
Robert Cecil, Chief Secretary to King James I feels the opportunity is perfect to consolidate support for His Highness against the growing espionage presence of his enemies, Spain and France.
While foreign spies agitate the oppressed English Catholics, Robert seeks proof of sexual depravity against his most dangerous foe, Sir Francis Bacon. He assigns Henry Gresham to obtain the evidence that will fry Bacon. He quickly learns how the agitators inadvertently strengthen the position of their greatest oppressor Robert with their anti-James plots, notably a scheme to blow up Parliament and replace the Scot with a Catholic on the throne. Keeping his own confidence, Henry soon realizes that Cecil hired the leaders, Guy Fawkes and Thomas Percy, with an apparent double cross in mind to “earn” the favor of the King. Already in danger due to his secret Catholic beliefs, Henry wonders what to do with what he learned because Cecil will gladly string him up along with the other “traitors”.
THE DESPERATE REMEDY: HENRY GRESHAM AND THE GUNPOWDER PLOT is a fascinating novelization of a critical moment in English history that vividly provides the audience with a deep look at surviving the civil religious squabbles that engulfed the English throne in 1605. The story line is cleverly devised so that the history with real people is interwoven into a superbly written espionage plot. Fans of historical tales including romance readers though there is no love story will immensely appreciate Martin Stephen's delightful retelling of the Gunpowder Plot.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner