It is 1628, and Seaton's happily settled life as a university teacher in Aberdeen is shattered by the arrival in town of a stranger carrying a plea for help from his dead mother's family in Ireland. The family has been placed under a poet's curse, elements of which have begun to come true. Reluctantly answering the call, Alexander travels to Ulster, to find himself among a family riven by secrets and long-standing resentments. In the course of seeking out the author of the curse, Alexander becomes increasingly entangled with both sides in the conflict - fugitive priests, displaced poets, rebellious plotters and agents of the king. His life and liberty are threatened as he is confronted with murder within his own family, and he finds the lines between superstition and faith, duty and loyalty blurred to the extent that he begins to question his own identity, and is forced to face up to the destructive power of love.
S. G. MacLean has a PhD in history from Aberdeen University, specializing in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Scottish history. She lives in Conon Bridge, Scotland with her husband and four children. The Devil's Recruit, her fourth novel, follows three highly acclaimed historical thrillers, The Redemption of Alexander Seaton, A Game of Sorrows and Crucible.