The House of Lamentations Review

The House of Lamentations Review | S.G MacLean

Between library closures and lock-downs, it’s been a long wait for this book, but it was worth it! We’re returning to the Cromwell era, with one of my favourite hard-guy-soft-heart characters. If you like a historical mystery, I recommend the Seeker series. Here’s my review on The House of Lamentations.

Publisher: Quercus | Date: 2020 | Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Summer, 1658, and the Republic may finally be safe: the combined Stuart and Spanish forces have been heavily defeated by the English and French armies on the coast of Flanders, and the King’s cause appears finished.

Yet one final, desperate throw of the dice is planned. And who can stop them if not Captain Damian Seeker?

The House of Lamentations Review

The House of Lamentations Review

I had solid expectations for The House of Lamentations –  fifth in the Captain Damian Seeker series by S.G MacLean. I’ve enjoyed the first four with their mysteries, characters and settings, so was certain I’d like this. It didn’t disappoint, delivering another whirlwind of a mystery that keeps you guessing.


Damian Seeker is one of my favourite historical fiction characters. I’ve explored his character in previous reviews: tough, firm exterior no one dares cross; biggest heart you’ll find under Cromwell’s reign. The fifth book is no different.

Isolated and alone, Seeker has time to reflect on what he wants. After four books battling love and duty, it’s satisfying watching him arrive at a conclusion. But I was cheering all the way as he – finally – puts love first, although the collapse of the regime helps.

It sums up Seeker’s character perfectly when it’s not the threat to his masters he’s worried about, but the fate of an unknown woman that haunts him.

New and old enemies appear as events result in plots and conspiracies. The narration mainly follows Seeker, but insights into secondary characters gives readers a few extra clues what’s going on – and who you should be rooting for.


More than any other genre, the plot has to work in a mystery to hold my attention. The House of Lamentations delivers this: you have hints and clues throughout, helped by snippets of other character’s point of views. But how it pulls together, how all the elements connect, remained completely hidden.

I love the balance between large-scale-threat-to-the-throne plot coupled with a small-scale personal mystery that affects three people. It provides a personal touch: you want Seeker to win, but you’re emotionally invested in the sub-plot. You get a feeling about some elements, but there’s enough curve-balls that you’re never certain.


MacLean’s writing has always captivated me. Despite studying it in school, this isn’t an era I remember a lot about, but I feel the history unfolding as we move through the books. It never feels like an information dump.

The same is true here. Despite being in a different country with names I can’t pronounce, you get a feel for the city, transporting you to where the characters are.

Likewise, her descriptions of the characters bring them to life. We know Seeker now, but even the secondary characters with a minor part are ones you can empathise and connect with.

Final Thoughts

House of Lamentations had a different pace to the previous books: slower and more in-depth due to Seeker’s isolation. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it:  a new city, a mystery I couldn’t guess and an explosive climax that meant I couldn’t put the book down. Definitely recommendation for historical fiction fans.

Are you into historical fiction? Does this sound like your kind of book?

Also in the series:

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32 thoughts on “The House of Lamentations Review | S.G MacLean

  1. This isn’t my usual genre of choice – even tho I’m a history nerd and I studied history at uni. I love the idea of the plot being hidden and you being kept on the edge of your seat the whole time. This really does sound like a page turner!



  2. I love the characters in historical fiction novels- and I’m glad this one has one of your favourites! Thank you for sharing this review, the writing and characterisation sounds like my kind of thing x


  3. He sounds like a type of lead I like, the tough but softie guy! Aw… And, he decides to put love first??? Double AW!

    I do not normally gravitate to historical fiction but am always more than willing to pick up any book as long as it seems interesting. However, after reading through all your reviews in the series (heh…also…what happens with Maria? Who is Maria? I’m curious now…hahaha), can this be made into a show? So far, it sounds like Seeker is someone I wouldn’t mind reading about but I really think this is something I would definitely watch instead.


    • It would make an AWESOME show I reckon!! I love that you went back through the series, thank you! It’s a really fun and gripping read!


  4. Glad you liked this one so much! You know that I don’t read much historical fiction as it overwhelms me a bit! This sounds great though x


  5. I don’t think this would be my pick as I usually love historical fiction from other times or with some magic involved, but it sounds like you really loved it! Characters and plot sound very interesting x


    • I’m definitely normally one for mixing magic into my historical fiction as well. but the mystery in this one certainly works to keep your attention.


  6. If I’m being perfectly honest, I’ve had a really tough time getting into historical fiction in the past several years. I used to love them so much when I was younger, but as an adult, I think I’ve been seeking something a little different. That being said, I’d really like to eventually find my way back to the genre, so maybe this series would be a good place to start. Who knows, it might totally surprise me and get me to love historical fiction once again!


    • It’s so hard when you just can’t connect with a genre, even if you want to, isn’t it? I think it’s definitely finding what era you’re into, and also what style – like I love Roman battle stuff, but clearly that is not for everyone!


    • I seem to be going on a bit of a spell with historical fiction at the moment through sheer chance! Neither had I until this series – definitely recommend it!


  7. Ha, I’ve got some of those long-awaited library holds on my shelves now too! I’ve honestly never read anything like this—I generally only read female-led historical novels, but you kind of have me intrigued now.


  8. Great review! I don’t normally read much historical fiction but this whole series sounds amazing, and I think I’d find it really interesting as I’ve studied this recently at school. Thanks for sharing!


    • I love how much it made me try to remember from school when reading it as well! It’s a really fun series, one I definitely recommend and I can’t wait for more!


    • Aha yeah there’s definitely a few different sub-genres within historical, isn’t there? This has some romantic elements threaded through the series which are all very sweet, but it’s certainly not the main genre.


  9. Great review! I’m glad that you were finally able to read it, and enjoyed it. I do like historical fiction, but unlike the masses, prefer the time period after WW2. Thanks for sharing.


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