Rizzio : Darkland Tales
Author: Denise Mina
Available on backorder
‘a tour de force work of art’ – The Wall Street Journal, Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the 2022 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award,
It’s Saturday evening, 9 March 1566, and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant. She’s hosting a supper party, secure in her private chambers. She doesn’t know that her Palace is surrounded – that, right now, an army of men is creeping upstairs to her chamber.
They’re coming to murder David Rizzio, her friend and secretary, the handsome Italian man who is smiling across the table at her. Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley, wants it done in front of her and he wants her to watch it done … Denise Mina brilliantly portrays the sexual dynamics and politics of power – between men and women, monarch and subjects, master and servants.
The period is masterfully researched yet lightly drawn, the characterisation quick, subtle and utterly convincing. This breathtakingly tense work is a tale of sex, secrets and lies, one that explores the lengths that men – and women – will go to in the search for love and power.
Polygon’s Darkland Tales see Scotland’s best writers re-imagining stories from the country’s history, myth and legend. This series reclaims history for a modern audience, with Scotland’s greatest contemporary novelists and storytellers taking on the challenge of producing Scottish history 2.0 – a redux of landmark moments from the past, viewed through a modern lens and alive to modern sensibilities.
While each book has a unique voice and distinctive individual identity, the Darkland Tales are united by their punky, anarchic and deliberately in-your-face aesthetic. These books are sharp, provocative and darkly comic, mining that seam of sedition and psychological drama that has always featured in the best of Scottish literature.