Tag Archives: men in hose

The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon

26 Jan

Format: Trade Paperback, 534 pages
Published: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Orion
Back cover blurb:
London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.

Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again.

Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate—but will he agree to do it?

Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.

My review:
Gabaldon never disappoints, and here she has the added bonus of lots of Jamie Fraser as well as Lord John to work with. In other words, it’s pure win!

It’s been a while since I read any of the Outlander series (or Cross Stitch as it was called here) – I own the last two books but have been put off by their enormous size so they remain beside my bed gathering dust – so I had forgotten some of the relationships, including Hal and Harry Quarry’s previous dealings with Jamie. I like Harry. He’s one of my favourite secondary characters along with Tom the valet. But being reminded that he put Jamie in irons made me question why I liked him so much and come to the conclusion that maybe it was just the excellent poetry, lol!

Anyhoo, this story has all the elements we love from Gabaldon – mystery, romance, politics, fighting, men in period costume, men out of their period costume (!), women who are more than just a pretty face, and quite a few laughs. This also had a supernatural element, which DG also introduced into a previous Lord John adventure. What I loved the most was how this book filled out the main Outlander story by providing interesting background on Jamie’s time at Helwater and his early relationship with young Willie.

Not quite a five-cupcake read for me because I found myself putting it down at times, but it certainly made me want to dust off the volumes by my bed.

My rating: 4.5/5