SEVEN books have been shortlisted for this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction:

Last week in the Border Telegraph we learned what the judges thought about ‘These Days’ Lucy Caldwell (Faber) and ‘The Geometer Lobachevsky’ Adrian Duncan (Tuskar Rock Press)  

Today we find out their opinions on Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris.

READ MORE: Find out what the judging panel thinks of each book

“Robert Harris is a master at creating, in sinewy prose, vivid characters at odds with each other. In Act of Oblivion, Puritan Colonels Whalley and Goffe, signatories to Charles I’s warrant of execution, flee to America from their implacable royalist nemesis, Nayler. Under Cromwell, they were the hunters. Now they are the prey, sustained only by their unshakeable faith in the rightness of their cause. 

“Harris plants the reader directly into the time and place of the story. In a Massachusetts snow storm tiny flakes whip 'like musket pellets in a blizzard across the dead white fields'. We feel the heat of the fire of London and lurch with the waves during a wild storm at sea.   
“Act of Oblivion is the work of a magnificent storyteller at the height of his game.”