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The Heretics

Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
Series: John Shakespeare, Book 5
Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Summary

From Rory Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, comes The Heretics, the fifth in his acclaimed John Shakespeare Elizabethan mystery series. 'Does for Elizabeth's reign what C. J. Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times.

England may have survived the Armada threat of 1588, but when Spanish galleys land troops in Cornwall on a lightning raid seven years later, is it a dry-run for a new invasion? Or is there, perhaps, a more sinister motive? The Queen is speechless with rage. But as intelligencer John Shakespeare tries to get a grip on events, one by one his network of spies is horribly murdered.

What has all this to do with Thomasyn Jade, a girl driven to the edge of madness by the foul rituals of exorcism? And what is the link to a group of priests held prisoner in bleak Wisbech Castle?

From the pain-wracked torture rooms of the Inquisition in Seville to the marshy wastes of fenland, from the wild coasts of Cornwall to the sweat and sawdust of the Elizabethan playhouses, and from the condemned cell at Newgate to the devilish fantasies of a fanatic, The Heretics builds to a terrifying climax that threatens the life of the Queen herself.

©2012 Rory Clements (P)2013 John Murray Press

Critic reviews

"Rory Clements again brings to life the dark side of Elizabethan England" ( Daily Mail)
"A cracking plot full of twists right up to the last minute. I look forward to the next" ( Sunday Express)
"The best yet in Rory Clements' magnificent series about John Shakespeare . . . As always, the historical detail is fascinating and sometimes delightfully obscure . . . another sumptuous feast that will leave you sated - but craving for the next helping!" ( Crimesquad)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Loved it

While laying back on my bed on a cold Scottish winter's afternoon and letting my mind soak up the days of yore......great stuff.....brings the imagination to life....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another enjoyable novel

Have just finished listening to this book and it kept my attention throughout
Moving straight into the next novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful stories

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this one. Very well narrated.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heretics?

All of it. Excellent story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I do not have a favourite

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had the time. Yes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • G
  • Worcester Park, United Kingdom
  • 20-02-18

Good story, but they were lucky!

Shakespeare and Boltfoot have got to be the luckiest incompetents ever. How many times are they captured and near death, but get away with it, as someone comes to their rescue. This took the edge off a good and interesting story. The story captures the religious conflicts of the time as well as allowing a view of the daily life and hierarchy of the Elizabethan society.

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Gripping

Excellent story and very well read. I Look forward to listening to the next episode

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A great listen

Another Elizabethan spy story brilliantly read by Gareth Armstrong. See the characters, smell the scenes.

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Very good, but...

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this as I have enjoyed the previous Shakespeare audiobooks. Good, properly convoluted plot, danger, romance etc. This, however, was let down by bad editing/production and lost it a star from me. Most, if not all, chapters were cut short & ploughed straight into the next chapter losing important plot points, turns and cliffhangers that I've come to expect from this series. I hope future audiobooks in this series aren't marred like this.

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Disappointed

Although this book transports the reader back into the turbulent times of the reign of Elizabeth and provides some really good descriptions of what life was like for rich and poor, I was a bit disappointed with the story. I have read several of the John Shakespeare stories prior to The Heretics and found them interesting. This one, however, falls down on the plot and some of the reasoning for events is a little tenuous at best. Having read this one I am now not sure if I will take the time to read the next one in the series.

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loved it

Would you listen to The Heretics again? Why?

I would listen to the Heretics again, really enjoyed the plot and the narrator, interpretation

What other book might you compare The Heretics to, and why?

its like the Ken Follet books,

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • GREAT YARMOUTH, United Kingdom
  • 10-07-13

Who did it

Where does The Heretics rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not a bad read but not a brilliant one either. At times it feels like the author is spoon feeding you with super runny food thats not easy to swallow. Yet at other times he tends to go off on a tangent which leaves you dangling in midair until the relevancy becomes clear.

A real who did it story that on occasions left you wondering "well who are they talking about" as characters seemed to drift in and out.

Gareths performance was clear and pleasant to listen to.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Buystoomuch
  • 21-05-19

I love a good historical mystery

This is the second book in Roy Clements' Elizabethan mystery series with John Shakespear as the lead character, and his faithful side Boltfoot covering his back. And though I have enjoyed both books (1 & 5) I found the characters rather flat and the story lines, which should have easily carried the books, almost dull.
The Elizabethan Court was anything but flat, dull, or stagnant. It was a time in history when conspiracies and intregy rule each day..
Mr Clements chose his subjects and interviews well, but John Shakespear lacks dept and carry through. It took me 5 times of picking up and starting the first book in the series, and quite a few years to complete reading it. Which is very unusual for me.
I am sorry to say that after all the literature classes I've had, I do not believe Williams Shaespear is the true author of all the plays, poems, and satire attributed to him. first and foremost he did not have enough ready access to the court and it's dealings to have written any of the indept play that he is credited with, nor did he as a a civilian have access to the more poignant affairs that occurred within Elizabeth's court.
that aside, I tried d to put my prejudices about William Shasespear aside so that I could enjoy Clements mysteries. They do cover the main issues to the day, and take you on a roller coaster ride all around England, especially London.. For this a I very must appreciate Mr. Clements stories. And for bring out issues that have off been swept under the rug, that need a closer look. Elizabeth was not a kind or necessarily good monarch, though she held the ruin for over 40 years without circuming to to the pressures of marriage, yet she did have a very full sexual relationship with several men.