Feet of Clay

Book Cover Who's murdering harmless old men? Who's poisoning the Patrician?

As autumn fogs hold Ankh-Morpork in their grip, the City Watch have to track down a murderer who can't be seen.

Maybe the golems know something - but the solemn men of clay, who work all day and night and are never any trouble to anyone, have started to commit suicide...

It's not as if the Watch hasn't got problems of its own. There's a werewolf suffering from pre-lunar tension. Corporal Nobbs is hob-nobbing with the nobs, and there's something really strange about the new dwarf recruit, especially his earrings and eyeshadow.

Who can you trust when there are mobs on the streets and plotters in the dark and all the clues point the wrong way?

In the gloom of the night, Watch Commander Sir Samuel Vimes finds that the truth might not be out there at all.

It may be amongst the words in his head.

A chilling tale of poison and pottery.


Two old men are found murdered - an old priest, and the curate of the Dwarf Bread Museum. At the same time, Lord Vetinari is being poisoned, by means or persons unknown. The city's civic leaders decide that a king would be the best successor, and reveal him to be a humble Watchman......Corporal C.W.St.J. Nobbs. Angua believes that golems may be behind the mysterious murders, and questions Dorfl, the golem at Sock's slaughterhouse. Later on that evening, Dorfl turns himself in for both the murders, but is proven after questioning to be lying - however, he did turn up just as Father Tubelcek was dying.  Meanwhile, Vetinari is still being poisoned. Angua does some more detectoring and discovers that the golems have been meeting, in secret, and talking - also that they drew lots, and Dorfl lost. And them golems start committing 'suicide' - or, at least, destruction of property. Meanwhile, Vetinari is still being poisoned - and the poison also kills two other people, in the family of a young woman who works at the palace. Vimes is starting to get a tad worried. However, he comes up with a good point - golems aren't alive, but they think they are. One thing the living things do is reproduce - and all golems need for that is clay (half a ton of which was recently stolen for Igneous's pottery), someone to write the words (such as a priest) and an oven (an excellent example of which can be found in the Dwarf Bread Museum). And their 'child' had, for some reason, tried to take revenge...... Carrot buys Dorfl to prevent him from being smashed, and gives him to himself - Dorfl then trys to set all the other golems free, but they won't listen to him. Nobby is offered Kingship, but won't take it - 'Mr Vimes'd go spare!' - and runs away. And in the final showdown in Carry's candlemakers, it is revealed that Vetinari is being poisoned by candles containing arsenic, which was masterminded by a vampire who wanted Ankh-Morpork to have a king, and one that could be easily controlled. Oh, and Dorfl joins the Watch.

But its a lot more complicated than that, of course.


Feet of Clay is a very good book, and I must have read it at least 20 times now. If you liked Men at Arms, then you'll like this. It picks up maybe just over a year later (in MAA it was summer, in FOC autumn), but in many respects it picks up where MAA left off. As usual, the sub-plots weave in with the main plot very cleverly, and all pull together at the end. The last scene is particularly funny. The characterisation - something Mr Pratchett excels at - is as good as ever, and we get our first few hints that there may be more to Carrot than originally appears.