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Summary

A breathtaking BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of the sixth novel in C. J. Sansom's best-selling Tudor crime series, featuring lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake.

1546, and the great heretic hunt is underway across England. The radical Protestant preacher Anne Askew has been arrested and condemned to death and Shardlake is ordered to attend the burning. It's a grisly, cruel spectacle that leaves him feeling disturbed. Rumours are circulating that Anne had connections to his protector, Queen Catherine Parr - and if she falls, he could be next.... 

His unease deepens when a messenger arrives from Whitehall Palace: the queen is in trouble and asking for his help. Unwilling to put himself in danger again, he almost declines - but his loyalty to her permits no refusal.

The palace is in turmoil - King Henry VIII is dying, and his Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a desperate power struggle to control his eight-year-old heir, Prince Edward. In this climate of fear and uncertainty, the queen has committed a dangerous indiscretion. She has written a compromising confessional tract, so incendiary it could see her accused of treason - and someone has stolen it from her private chamber. Only one page has resurfaced, clenched in the fist of a murdered printer.

Shardlake's search for the missing manuscript takes him from London's seedy backstreets to the heart of the Tudor court, where he becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue, deception and dark political machinations - and finds himself facing a fateful audience with King Henry himself.... 

Justin Salinger stars as Shardlake in this stunning sixth instalment of the Shardlake series.

Written by C. J. Sansom

Dramatised by Colin MacDonald

Produced and directed by Bruce Young

Cast

Shardlake - Justin Salinger

Barak - Bryan Dick

Queen Catherine - Jessica Hardwick

Lord Parr - Robbie Jack

Henry VIII - Michael Mackenzie

Richard Rich - Simon Donaldson

William Paget - Gavin Mitchell

Charles Stice - Matthew Barker

William Cecil - James Rottger

Myldmore - Kenny Blyth

Okedene - Mark McDonnell

Cranmer - Crawford Logan

Mary Odell - Francesca Dymond

Barwic - Mark Jeary

Elias - Caleb Hughes

Garet - Harri Pitches

Other parts played by the cast

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18-29 January 2021

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic reviews

"From the exquisite embroidery on a sliver of silk to the metallic stench of fresh blood, this portrait of Tudor England is full-on sensory immersion.... CJ Sansom's novel is brought to life by dramatist Colin MacDonald, director Bruce Young and an outstanding cast." (Jane Anderson, Radio Times

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Excellent!

Loved it, I can't wait to listen to the next book. Wish it was longer.

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Sad To Hear The End of Superb Shardlake

I wish Shardlake would go on & on as I like the storylines so much on audible and I have all,the Books too. This is an excellent production, well acted with a superb cast of actors. You feel you are right there in the awful scary and paranoid times of King Henry VIII. Farewell Shardlake ...