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Sunday, 25 January 2015

CJ Sansom - Lamentation

review by showhost Jan 2015
It has been a while since I read one of his books and I had forgotten how much I enjoy them.
This is another of his Shardlake series, set in Tudor England.  Mathew Shardlake is a hatchback barrister/lawyer.  In past books he has taken on work for the Royal household.  But it's 1546 king Henry 8th is not well and getting nearer death.  His successor is the very young 8yr old Prince Edward (to be 6th). The political struggle is raging between the Catholic & protestant councillors, for the control of government once Henry is dead.
Heretics are still being hunted across London and the story opens with a radical protestant Anne Askew being burnt at the stake after being tortured in the tower.
The Catholic party want to get rid of Catherine Parr (6th) wife and when they learn she has written a book, a confessional book - lamentations of a sinner - they steal it in the hope they can use it against her and turn Henry against her and accuse her of heresy.  They also hope to turn Henry back to the Pope. Catherine sends for Shardlake in the hope he can trace the document.  One torn piece of the manuscript is found in the house of a murdered printer. An as remakes investigations lead him and his trusted employer and friends Barak & Nicholas into a web of political intrigue and danger, a place where Shardlake said he would never venture again.
It is a very unsafe time with politics and religious views changing with the wind and never uttered.
I just love these books - they transport you to Tudor England - not a nice place to be - sights and smells and intrigue. Shardlake is such a wonderful character. If you like historical mysteries you'll love it or any of his previous books

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