From the bestselling author of Fatherland, The Ghostwriter, Munich, and Conclave comes this spellbinding historical novel that brilliantly imagines one of the greatest manhunts in history: the search for two Englishmen, charged in the killing of King Charles I, by the implacable foe on their trail—an epic journey into the wilds of seventeenth-century New England, and a chase like no other.
“From what is it they run?”
He took a while to reply. By the time he spoke the men had gone inside. He said quietly, “They killed the King.”
1660. General Edward Whalley and his son-in-law Colonel William Goffe board a ship in London bound for the New World and an uncertain future in exile. They are wanted for the 1649 murder of King Charles I – a brazen execution that marked the culmination of the English Civil War, in which parliamentarians successfully battled royalists for control. But ten years after Charles’ beheading, the royalists returned to power. Under the provisions of the Act of Oblivion, the ﬁfty-nine men who signed the king’s death warrant have been found guilty in absentia of high treason. Some parliamentarians, including Oliver Cromwell, are dead; others have been captured, hung, drawn, and quartered. A few are imprisoned for life. But Whalley and Goffe escaped to New England. In London, Richard Nayler, secretary of the regicide committee of the Privy Council, is charged with bringing the traitors back home to justice and will stop at nothing to ﬁnd them. A substantial bounty hangs over their heads for their capture – dead or alive. Encompassing a period of tremendous upheaval in English history the novel brings alive pivotal moments including the Black Death and the Great Fire of London as Nayler closes in on the exiles. Act of Oblivion is an epic story of religion, vengeance, and of power – and the costs to those who wield it.