Prophecy by S J Parris (HarperCollins) has been chosen as the focus of Cityread London’s 2017 campaign.
The title will be the centre of a month-long "celebration of reading" in the capital, starting on 30th March and running throughout April, which aims to engage London’s residents, workers and visitors with reading for pleasure, focused around the shared reading experience of a single book.
Prophecy is a “gripping” Elizabethan spy thriller, focused on the plot against Elizabeth to put Mary Queen of Scots on the throne. Set in 1583 its protagonist is the real life shadowy Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, scientist, philosopher, and magician and excommunicated heretic.
A programme of events will take place across all 33 London boroughs as well as in Slough and Reading in libraries, bookshops, museums and other venues, including a tour by S J Parris.
Cityread 2017 will also include a specially produced Quick Reads title aimed at engaging Londoners who struggle with reading.
Prophecy is the second book in Parris's Giordano Bruno historical thriller series. The fifth book in the series Conspiracy will be published by HarperCollins in paperback in January 2017.
Parris said: “I’m thrilled that Prophecy has been chosen for this fantastic event that celebrates books and brings readers together from all over London. From the Elizabethan world to the present, London has always been a city that has weathered great change and upheaval with courage, and I hope this glimpse into our turbulent history through Bruno's adventures will resonate with readers today”.
Andy Ryan, director of Cityread London, added: “Prophecy is such a perfect Cityread book, we’re excited about traveling further back into London’s history than in any previous Cityread festivals. SJ Parris makes Elizabethan London spring from the page and, taking the novel as a starting point, we’re looking forward to working with libraries, museums and a raft of other partners to explore this fascinating period in our city’s history”.