Next up for review on David’s Book Blurg is Dissolution, book 1 in the Matthew Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. Here’s the blurb :-
Genre – Historical/Crime
Pages – 464 Pages
My Rating 5/5 Stars
Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell’s Commissioner Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege – a black cockerel sacrificed on the alter, and the disappearance of Scarnsea’s Great Relic. Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death. But Shardlake’s investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes . . .
My wife picked this up for my birthday based on the cover alone..she thought it looked like a book I would like, and boy was she right!
Matthew Shardlake a lawyer by trade has been sent by Thomas Cromwell to investigate the death of Robin Singleton. Singleton was also under the employ of Cromwell and it’s Shardlake’s job to find out what happened to the man.
Shardlake was a great character, flawed but smart with it. He’s the Columbo/Quincy, M.E. of his day (Side note..I loved those shows, they don’t make them like that any more!) sent out to talk to witnesses and to dig out the truth no matter what.
The pieces slowly come together to bring you the full picture but there’s a few twists along the way to keep you guessing until the final reveal.
The book is set during the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries so you get a bit of a history lesson too. You might think you would get overwhelmed with the era but not so, there’s a perfect mix of historical reference mixed with plot.
Shardlake has his health issues which actually works in his favour sometimes as people dismiss him as no one worth bothering about but he’s as sharp as they come.
Great pace and a brilliant plot to match. This is a series I want on my bookshelf for sure!