At jus over 600 pages I thought this would last me til xmas WRONG A real pg turner I urge all who haven t tried the Shardlake series yet, to delve in, if Crime mystery is your thing And Yeah Yeah I dinny know who it was either, totally clueless was me as usual but there s so many potentially that it could be which is the real intrigue of it all.
With this installment in the Matthew Shardlake series, I think I can safely say that CJ Sansom has taken his place as my second favorite modern author Sharon Kay Penman being my favorite I have given this book some time to swirl around in my mind since I finished it, and I m still not sure that I can do it justice.
Nobody brings Tudor England to life the way Sansom does The sights, smells, sounds.
it is easy for the reader to imagine that they are walking along next to dear Matthew as he walks the crowded London streets This is what I first fell in love with in Sansom s writing back in Dissolution The next thing that drew me in was Shardlake himself I love the way Sansom presents him as a character that the reader can relate to and admire despite his flaws We share his doubt, fears, and longings as if Matthew is our very best friend I can feel my heart twist in my chest when he is hurting.
Then there is the mystery, which I know is supposed to be the main point Though it is expertly done, this is only part of the attraction of the novel for me The cases that Matthew is wrapped up in for this installment once again bring him closer to court than he is comfortable with, and the reader is given a fun glimpse of the Seymour brothers as Henry VIII nears his end and targets his final wife, Catherine Parr.
This story is much darker than the previous volumes, with a serial killer stalking victims and torturing them according to his interpretation of verses in the book of Revelation Sansom takes this opportunity to evaluate the religious war taking place in England at the time along with Matthew s personal doubts.
If I had one minor complaint about this book it was that the author attributes many protestant beliefs to Martin Luther than he did not hold Maybe this was believed at the time, and that is why he chose to write it that way or maybe it was a simple mistake Specifically, Martin Luther did not believe that certain people were predestined to hell This is a belief accurately attributed to Calvinists On the other hand, Luther did believe in the true body and blood of Jesus being present in the Eucharist, though not all protestants did.
Revelation was captivating in its plot, historical detail, and character development I am only afraid that soon I will run out of Shardlake novels to read.
The fourth installment in this excellent series and it is easily worth five stars One of the best things about these books is the delightful way the author discusses all the details of the lifestyle of Tudor England I have always found this a fascinating period of history and C.
J Sansom knows how to make the most of it In this book Matthew Shardlake our daring, hunchback, lawyer detective is working for Archbishop Cranmer and HenryVIII is preparing to marry Catherine Parr Life becomes very dangerous at times for our hero and there are numerous very gruesome murders Extremely entertaining and for me unputdownable Now for the next one
This is the fourth novel in the series featuring lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, and his assistant Jack Barak This is one of the darkest, most unsettling books in the series, involving Shardlake and Barak in the hunt for a Tudor serial killer, who has an obsession with the book of Revelations and a client who is declared insane and sent to the Bedlam.
King Henry is planning to take another wife and is busy trying to convince Catherine Parr to marry him Speaking of matrimony, Barak s marriage to Tamasin is suffering difficulties and Matthew s old friend, Roger Elliard is murdered Matthew had hoped to marry Roger s wife, Dorothy, and he feels responsible to help her by tracking down Roger s killer However, the crime is not a simple one and brings him back into contact with those at the centre of power and the Court Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Seymour and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford London is portrayed as a city rife with religious tension Reformers are under scrutiny, Cranmer fears investigation and there is a climate of fear on the streets Along with the strain between Barak and Tamasin, Matthew s old friend, Guy, has a new apprentice called Piers, who Matthew feels uneasy about As Shardlake attempts to protect his client and track down a killer, you can almost feel the tension, both on the streets and between the characters This is an excellent addition to the series intelligent, thoughtful and well written a superior historical mystery.
I may consistently give these C.
J Sansom books 4 out of 5 stars with the exception of the third in the series, Sovereign, which I gave 5 stars to , but I do thoroughly enjoy them For me they are the perfect holiday read, or windy wet weather read Sit in a corner with a cup of tea, curl up under a thick quilt in bed, lock yourself away or escape every evening to its pages.
J Sansom recreates the Tudor world with an ease that all historical fiction authors should aspire to The stories are not always fast paced or addictive, but for me it is not really the power of the story or plot that keeps me coming back again and again, it is the power of the author to open a window in time through which I feel and see and smell Tudor England.
It happens everytime I pick up one of these books They are most reliable in that respect.
In this fourth instalment of the Matthew Shardlake series, our window is into 1543 London Henry VIII is courting Catherine Parr, the Parliament has brought in controversial anti reformist legislation the legislation that includes prohibiting women and the working classes from reading the bible and religious radicals and conservatives are pulling apart the cultural and social fabric of the city.
Within this maelstrom, Matthew and Barak are confronted with an all new horror Gruesome deaths the like of which they have never seen The like of which the city has never seen Orchestrated with the methodical cunning and pathological cruelty that we relate now to being the potential handiwork of serial killers But in the Sixteenth Century, a time of intense religious fervour, some can only fathom it as demonic possession.
Running parallel to these killings is the story of a young man, Adam Kite His peculiar and desperate behaviour having landed him in The Bedlam, Shardlake is appointed to the boys case and he must solve the riddle of this young man s mind before the conservative powers would have him burned or some such other grisly fate.
If there is anything I can point to as a negative with this book a negative for me at least it would be the amount of religious discussion inserted into the story For other readers it would be appropriate and interesting, and while I do agree with its appropriateness as the country was alive with religious debate I would not agree with it being interesting I would have shaved it back a degree as it got in the way of the semi thrilling hunt for a killer or killers.
I really enjoy this series of mystery novels set in the reign of Henry VIII The author has a gift for weaving the historical backstory into the mystery and generating a very evocative atmosphere of London in the 16th century Through the characters and other story lines running through the novel, many pictures of daily life emerge including the practice of Medicine at the time, the workings of the sewerage system, construction of false teeth and of course the upheaval in religion and the chucrches during the reformation.
In this fourth novel of the series, Henry is courting his sixth wife, Catherine Parr The city is tense with religious unrest following the dissolution of the monasteries and those caught preaching on the streets are arrested and put to death When several bizarre murders are uncovered, one victim being a close friend of lawyer Matthew Shardlake, there are fears that of a plot against the King and Archbishop Cramer hires Matthew and his assistant Jack Barak to hunt down the killer Matthew has also been hired to look into the case of a young man, seized with religious fervour who has been locked in Bedlam for his own safety This is a long novel, but I enjoyed every page of it as Matthew uses his detective skills to tease out the identity of the killer.
Spring, King Henry VIII Is Wooing Lady Catherine Parr, Whom He Wants For His Sixth Wife But This Time The Object Of His Affections Is Resisting Archbishop Cranmer And The Embattled Protestant Faction At Court Are Watching Keenly, For Lady Catherine Is Known To Have Reformist Sympathies Meanwhile, A Teenage Boy, A Religious Maniac, Has Been Placed In The Bedlam Hospital For The Insane When An Old Friend Os Matthew Shardlake Is Murdered, His Investigations Leads To Connections To Both, And To The Prophecies Of The Book Of Revelation Shardlake Follows A Trail Of Horrific Murders That Are Igniting Frenzied Talk Of Witchcraft And Demonic Posession For What Else Would The Tudor Mind Make Of A Serial Killer In his fourth outing, hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake is up against a gruesome serial killer intent on bringing forth the prophecies of Revelation through a series of Biblical inspired killings Called in to attend to the bizarre case of a young boy imprisoned for madness and suspected of suffering from demonic possession, when Shardlake discovers the slain body of his best friend in a frozen fountain, he is once again caught between the machinations of the Tudor court, where Henry VIII has set his sights on a reluctant Catherine Parr, his own waning spirituality, and the brutality of existence in Tudor London As always, Sansom paints a realistic portrait of an era where power and wealth are the ultimate prize and life is easily disposed of his attention to detail conjures a time both vastly different and eerily reminiscent of our own, a world where religious fundamentalism threatens to uproot the foundations of reason and men struggle to come to terms with the meaning of justice and faith Excellent Can t get into this placing it on the dnf will try again shelves.
Update 13 May 19 I now intend to read the series or at least 1 to 5 which I own , and 1 Dissolution is in my Reading Now list, ready to go