SD Sykes

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Plague Land

book | Fiction | 2014
UK & Comm → Hodder and Stoughton (Ed. Nick Sayers)
US & Canada → Pegasus Publishing (Ed. Claiborne Hancock)
Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor. Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by thePlague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate.

He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants. Yet some things never change. Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.

Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men. Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it - by finding the real murderer - is quite a different matter.

Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife.

And then the body of another girl is found.

SD Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut.

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Gordon Wise.

Melissa Pimentel manages the translation rights for Plague Land

Film Rights


Contact Joe Phillips & Jenn Lambert for more information

Translation Rights Sold

UK & Comm
Hodder and Stoughton

Set in medieval England, Plague Land is a historical murder mystery brimming with intrigue and secrets. Intense and intricately layered, Plague Land is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the genre.

Midwest Book Review
Full Review

The medieval CJ Sansom.

Jeffery Deaver

A novel full of suspense and intrigue that will have you gripped.

Best magazine

Sykes's damp, depopulated, miasmic Middle Ages is well evoked, making this an impressive debut.

The Herald

It’s no fun reading a medieval mystery if it isn’t steeped in filth, squalor and pestilence. S. D. Sykes [...] serves it all up in vivid detail, from the noxious smells to an actual burial pit, heaped with the putrefying bodies of plague victims. 

Marilyn Stasio
New York Times

Plague Land is a fascinating historical crime novel about a world turned upside down, inhabited by a rich cast of characters. A terrific debut and a wonderful start to a brand-new series Antonia Hodgson
author of The Devil in the Marshalsea
Full Review

Gordon Wise
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Translation Rights
Sarah Harvey

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Luke Speed

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