Nemesis by Rory Clements #BookReview @ReadersFirst1 @BonnierZaffre


Author: Rory Clements

Genre: Spy/conspiracy thriller

Format: Hardcover 336 pages

Release Date: 24 January 2019

Publisher: Zaffre

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book from Readers First. I had seen quite a lot of buzz around this book and I hadn’t read anything around the spy conspiracy angle in a while so I was very pleased when my copy was finally delivered. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Can a ruthless spy ring change the course of war?

In a great English house, a young woman offers herself to one of the most powerful and influential figures in the land – but this is no ordinary seduction. She plans to ensure his death . . . 

On holiday in France, Professor Tom Wilde discovers his brilliant student Marcus Marfield, who disappeared two years earlier to join the International Brigades in Spain, in the Le Vernet concentration camp in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Wilde secures his release just as German tanks roll into Poland.

Meanwhile, a U-boat sinks the liner Athenia in the Atlantic with many casualties, including Americans, onboard. Goebbels claims Churchill put a bomb in the ship to blame Germany and to lure America into the war. 

As the various strands of an international conspiracy begin to unwind, Tom Wilde will find himself in great personal danger. For just who is Marcus Marfield? And where does his loyalty lie? 

My Thoughts

I always find myself drawn to books that are set in and around the period of World War Two and this book focused on angle I haven’t previously seen focused on before. I can’t tell you what that angle is as I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline. But think spy’s, espionage, double-crossing and political motives and you can get a sense of what this book is all about. 

I didn’t realise at the time of reading ‘Nemesis’ that this is actually part of a series. ‘Corpus’ and ‘Nucleus’ are the first two books to feature in the Tom Wilde series but I found ‘Nemesis’ entirely capable of being read as a standalone. 

Tom Wilde is the main character in this book, a History Professor at Cambridge with ties to some very influential people in the country. Whilst he is honeymooning with Lydia Morris in France he is approached by an unknown individual and told that a former student of his is being held in a camp on the French border. Tom goes at once to try and secure the release of his student and let’s just say that things move quickly from that point on! 

Although Tom is the main character, it was actually Lydia that I found myself most drawn to. She is quick witted and has a mind of her own and I would loved to have seen her character developed more in the book and for her to play a more prominent role. Hopefully if there are further books in this series that will be the case. 

The story this book follows had me gripped with the various plot twists and subterfuge that unfolds. I love a plot where you can trust no one and are suspicious of all the characters motives. If you like a read with a strong conspiracy feel running through it then this should be on your reading list. 

About the Author

Rory Clements is the bestselling author of the John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. His six acclaimed novels, Martyr, Revenger, Prince, Traitor, The Heretics and The Queen’s Man, follow Elizabeth’s Intelligencer, John Shakespeare, brother to the playwright William, through the dark underworld of Tudor England as he unmasks the traitors and conspirators who plot against the Queen. The seventh John Shakespeare novel, Holy Spy, is due to be published in February 2015.

Rory Clements won the Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award in 2010 for Revenger, and has been shortlisted for CWA Awards for Martyr, Prince and The Heretics. A TV series is currently in development. Find out more at

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

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