I've enjoyed the character development throughout the series. Sir Hugh Corbett wants to spend quality time with his wife, and is anguished each time the King sends him away on a new piece of business. Meanwhile Ranulf is power hungry and keen to advance, eagerly accepting secret instructions from the King. Ranulf's investigative skills and powers of observation continue to grow and he is beginning to emerge as a force to be reckoned with.
In Nightshade, we're transported back to 1304 as Sir Hugh Corbett, Ranulf and Chanson are dispatched by the King to Mistelham. They are to retrieve items stolen from the Templars during the Crusades as well as get to the bottom of the hideous slaughter of 14 seemingly innocent members of a religious order, their corpses left to hang in a deserted area of the forest. Tales from the Crusades, hidden clues, tightly held secrets and a deadly bowman stand in the way of Sir Hugh restoring order and finding the culprit/s.
Doherty conjures the sights, sounds and smells of the period extremely well, which is the main reason I continue to follow and enjoy his series. His descriptions of the biting cold and the fog make me appreciate the luxuries of the present day all whilst snuggling down deeper into my doona. Doherty follows the familiar plot construction of the series, which makes for a predictable style but pleasurable read.
My rating = ***