C. J. Sansom


"This is a magnificent piece of work providing a rich tapestry of Tudor lifeā€¦"


Set in 1541 this is the third book about the lawyer Matthew Shardlake. It describes his attendance and involvement in the great Progress of Henry VIII and his court to York, designed to establish the king's authority in the North after the discovery of a plot against him. Matthew and his companion Jack Barak, are there on a mission for Archbishop Cranmer, but everything becomes more complicated following the murder of a local glazier.

There are many plots here and even more people vying for power. The tension between the old and the new religion is never far from the surface. Some followers of both sides are devout and honest whilst many others are looking for advancement.

Shardlake is both an honest man and aware of the many pitfalls into which he could fall, but even he doesn't foresee the final trouble he meets. After an exciting taste of Tudor justice he finally emerges to fight another day.

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This is a magnificent piece of work providing a rich tapestry of Tudor life and an insight into the political power struggles taking place during the reign of Henry VIII. The descriptions of everyday life are so vivid the reader can almost smell and taste them. The plot is intriguing and has a rewarding and unexpected twist at the end. Matthew Shardlake remains a sympathetic and likeable hero while Jack Barak provides some light relief. This is a lively and fantastic read that no serious reader should miss.

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