A KIND OF JUSTICE by Benjamin Siegel
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This good historical novel is set in Elizabethan London just as it is most fear-ridden at the approach of the Spanish Armada. Andrew Bundy, in his twenties, a Spanish Jew whose wife was betrayed to the Inquisition by an English sailor and died under brutal questioning, comes to London to find and kill the man responsible. His own position is highly dangerous since Jews were outlawed from England at that time; his mission is of course illegal, and the town's nerves are so on edge that the slightest misstep can lead to the gallows. Andrew lands in jail on his first day in town and from then on, there is hardly a pause as both adventures and love affairs crowd in on him. Andrew is a most attractive and appealing hero; his problems, both moral and religious, as well as the physical dangers to which he is exposed, are interesting; and the many secondary characters are well done. Siegel is especially able in conveying a vivid sense of London and there are some effectively set scenes- a Spanish auto da fe, a bear baiting, a low tavern. There are some episodes that require a strong stomach and perhaps it is too bad that several of them occur at the beginning of the book before the reader is prepared for the brutality of this age. But the impression of violence for violence's sake fades quickly as Andrew's hunt transforms him and turns him from living in the past to looking to the future. An interesting as well as a lively story.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1960
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace