The third novel in the compelling Shardlake series. Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.
But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .
©2006 C. J. Sansom (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Enjoyable but the story is the setting rather than the mystery for me on this one. It lacks the bite of his first two in the series, which seemed to have more of a purpose. I like this period of history and I suspect CJ has done his research well, so he colours an aspect I don't get from history books.
If you can contact the writer, please tell him to stop using the words 'interrogatively' and 'sardonically'. He overuses these and several other words, and I now wince every time I hear them.
Book 3 of the Shardlake chronicles, and in my opinion the best so far. Fantastic plots and sub plots intermingled with historical accuracies takes the listener on a fascinating and truly gripping adventure. Great narration only adds to the enjoyment. Bring on book 4.
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I have read all the Shardlake novels and have enjoyed listening to them too. Listening is a very pleasurable way of accessing books.
I particularly liked Shardlake's horror in being transported to the Tower of London and the satisfying way threads were drawn together at the end of the novel.
Richard Rich and Henry the Eighth. Their unassailable privilege.
Carry on Henry-oops I think that's been done.
I love the way Shardlake cannot move from his social station-you want him to argue and rile against and contradict other characters but he is deferential. Check out Anne Perry's Victorian detectives. Is this peculiarly English?
Can't recommend this brilliant third installment enough. The plot, characters and narration are quite superb. The interweaving of a thriller - mystery with historical events is incredibly rewarding. I can't get enough Shardlake. Thank you, Mr Sansom!
I have really enjoyed the Shardlake series - thoroughly recommended. Good balance of historical research and an engrossing story. I hope Sansome writes many more!
Love the evocation of the setting, but the story/plot felt a little convoluted. Lacked dramatic tension or rather there was too little drawn over too a long story. Still worth a listen to for the social/ historical detail. Henry comes across badly, as he should. Shardlake remains an engaging character. Admirable for all he has to put up with with his poor back.
I have become a fan of the Shardlake series by C J Sansom. The plot lines are always fascinating and well-constructed. The stories bring a good blend of mystery and suspense and have the right degree of historical atmosphere. Moreover, they are also brought to life by Stephen Crossley's excellent narration. Sovereign is another excellent book in the series. Really enjoyable listening.
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