Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.
Dorset, 1642. England is on the cusp of civil war.
Jayne Swift, a daughter of the Dorset gentry, has resisted all offers of marriage and instead trained as a physician, using her skills to tend to her Royalist father's tenants and the local population. When civil war sweeps England she vows to remain neutral and aid the injured whether they be Royalist or Parliamentarian.
William Harrier is first introduced to Jayne as footman to Lacy Alice, a Dorchester parliamentarian, but every time she encounters him, he seems to be in a different guise, and it's not always clear which side of the war he's fighting for.
As the battles continue to rage, bringing pain and suffering to both sides, Jayne never wavers in her vow of neutrality. Throughout it all, from the terrifying siege of Lyme Regis, to the execution of the King, she always seems to find herself drawn back to William. But what does she really know of him? His past is a mystery, and his future seems uncertain.
The Swift and the Harrier is a sweeping tale of adventure and loss, sacrifice and love with a unique and unforgettable heroine at its heart.