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The Last Hours by Minette Walters will be published in Australia on Wednesday September 27, 2017. It is the first novel in ten years from the internationally bestselling writer.

The Last Hours marks a new direction for the ‘queen of the psychological thriller.’ Set in 1348 against the devastation and horror of the Black Death, The Last Hours is historical fiction.

When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from Develish when news of this pestilence reaches her, she takes the decision to look for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. Well-versed in the importance of isolating the sick from the well, she withdraws her people inside the moat that surrounds her manor house and refuses entry even to her husband.

She makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband’s steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs … until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat?

Minette Walters has published more than a dozen international bestselling psychological suspense novels including The Ice House, The Sculptress and The Scold’s Bridle, which all became successful TV series. She is one of the greatest female crime writers with more than one million copies of her books sold across Australia and New Zealand and over 25 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

You can pre-order The Last Hours here.

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