My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have loved each of the Shardlake novels.
If you have not read any of these novels I will give you a brief outline. Shardlake starts out as a strong reformist working for Cromwell during the dissolution of the monasteries. In Dissolution he has to investigate a murder in a monastery. In Darkfire (the 2nd in the series) it is the pursuit of Greek Fire which once again brings him into the political stage.
This third novel follows on a year after the events of Dark Fire. Shardlake has to catch up with the 1541 King’s Progress to the North at York (the aim of which were to bring the North back into loyalty to the King after the revolts of recent years).
Sent on a secret mission by Cranmer, Shardlake soon gets embroiled in a new plot against Henry VIII when a workman is killed and he soon finds his life is in danger.
This story winds its self around the Progress, the King’s growing tyranny, the affairs of Catherine Howard and the corrupt goings on at court. Shardlake has already lost his zeal for religious reform and in this book comes to realise even more just what a monster Henry has become.
Sansom brings this world vibrantly to life with such delicious detail that you feel you are walking the street sof 16th century London and York. You too feel the fear the king brings and the horrors of torture and execution that were instruments of state and power.
I will be buying the next in the series very soon.