1651 - Paul is escaping following the execution of the Earl of Derby. He hides a secret about his master's death and feels responsible.
‘Child of Aetos’ based on real characters. It is historical fact with some fiction woven in, told from the viewpoint of Paul Morrow, secretary to James Stanley, the Seventh Earl of Derby.
The novel is written as two stories in alternating chapters. Even numbered chapters are set in the present (1651) and are written in the third person. The odd numbered chapters are the flashbacks of Paul as a first person narrator. The intention of this is to allow the reader to judge whether Paul is a reliable witness, and to assess whether he is responsible for James's death.
It resonates with themes relevant today; how individuals can motivate themselves to fight a civil war when the political order breaks down; distrust of a minority religion; a state trial and execution of a ‘war criminal’; the effect of war on individuals and families; and the policy of governments to exploit fear of a fifth column to keep the stability of the state.