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Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno 3) [Hardcover]

S. J. Parris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 April 2012 Giordano Bruno 3

Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, the third historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy.

In the pursuit of power, nothing is sacred…

Summer, 1584. The Protestant Prince William of Orange has been assassinated by a fanatical Catholic, and there are whispers that Queen Elizabeth will be next. Fear haunts the streets of London, and plague is driving many citizens away.
Giordano Bruno, radical philosopher and spy, chooses to remain, only to find that someone is following him through the city. Confronting his stalker, he realizes it is the woman he once loved – she is on the run, having been accused of murder.

Bruno travels to Canterbury to help clear her name, and also on behalf of Sir Francis Walsingham. The Queen’s spymaster has long suspected Catholic influence in the ancient centre of pilgrimage, and instructs Bruno to work to expose any enemy plots.

As Bruno begins his hunt for the real killer, he is drawn into the heart of a sinister conspiracy hiding in the shadow of England’s holiest shrine…

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000731776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007317769
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

S.J.Parris is the bestselling author of Prophecy and Heresy. Her historical thrillers follow the renegade monk, philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno, as he uncovers dark mysteries and plots in Elizabethan England.

'S. J. Parris has created a character in Giordano Bruno that will endure. A true rival to C. J. Sansom'
Sam Bourne (bestselling author of The Righteous Men)

Product Description


Praise for S. J. Parris:

• ‘Impossible to resist … Parris creates a convincing sense of the past, woven with so much intrigue that the head fairly spins’ Daily Telegraph

• ‘It has everything – intrigue, mystery and excellent history’ Kate Mosse

• ‘Parris writes with confident ease of Tudor London … The dialogue balances nicely on a tightrope of period phrases and cut-to-the-chase colloquialisms. More, please’ The Times

• ‘Full of surprises … an imaginatively satisfying addition to the many real intrigues surrounding the imprisoned Mary Stuart and the threats to Elizabeth’s security’ TLS

• ‘Fascinating … The period is incredibly vivid and the story utterly gripping’ Conn Iggulden

• ‘A brilliantly unusual glimpse at the intrigues surrounding Queen Elizabth I’ Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of The American Boy

About the Author

S.J.Parris is the pseudonym of Stephanie Merritt. Since graduating from Cambridge she has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as radio and television. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian, and is the author of five books and one son.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diminishing Returns 24 Aug 2012
By M. Stevens VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third outing for Giordano Bruno, the monk on the run turned astronomer turned Walsingham's employee, following Heresyand Prophecy. The story commences shortly after the second installment with the return of Bruno's love interest from Prophecy, Sophie, who is on the run from Canterbury, due to her husband having being murdered and her being the prime suspect. She seeks Bruno's help to prove her innocence.

So starts the story, which evolves with Walsingham wanting Bruno to also investigate other strange goings on in Canterbury.... two birds with one stone, so to speak.

As with the other two books in the series, the novel has likable characters, is well written and has great descriptions of Tudor England.

However (you knew it was coming from a three star review didn't you?), I started to lose interest approximately halfway through, with the story starting to run out of steam.... much of the descriptions and story started to seem repetitive.

Maybe I have now read too many of this genre, as they are all starting to feel "samey"...? I had similar issues with the recent Rory Clements offering, Traitor and the last Shardlake to be published to date, Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake 5).

Ok, but not brilliant (but will still read the next in the series, as want to know what happens to both Bruno and Sophie!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Pijo
This is the first book I've read by Parris and after CJ Sansom it seemed shallow in comparison.

I love historical fiction because we usually get great characters, are transported to a realistic time and place in the past AND I generally learn something interesting about history in an entertaining manner.

I didn't learn anything particularly interesting about this historical setting and although Parris does paint her world effectively - it's more of a watercolour than a nice thick oil which I prefer in Historical Fiction.

It is very readable, though the plot/story is not overly taxing.

BUT where it fails, and this is where I was taken from the story again and again, was that the main protagonist the Monk Giordano seems more woman than man. At times it felt like the character was thinking the way a woman thinks a man might think - and it was too feminine - of course I could have bought this had I been convinced that Giordano was a feminine monk but I didn't think that was the case.

My other pet peeve - an abundance of adverbs!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In general, I have read better books of similar story lines. It is too overbearing in petty small talk, however, the plot is good with an interesting final result. I enjoyed Heresay much better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
SACRILEGE follows the further adventures of Parris's Italian Renaissance hero Giordano Bruno in ELizabethan England, and it's a corker. The author is well into her stride now, and the story grips from the opening, when our hero realises he's being followed by a possible assassin, only to discover the he is a she - and Sophia the woman he loved in HERESY. Accused of murdering the husband she was forcibly married off too in Canterbury, she begs him to clear her name and save her from execution. Walsingham, one of Bruno's employers, asks him to investigate matters there in the wake of the assassination of the Protestant Prince William of Orange.

As in Sansom's Shardlake series, what makes these novels stand out is both the cleverness of the plotting and the central characters being closer to us in sensibility and intelligence than the norm for their age. Bruno, an ex-monk, is consumed by intellectual curiosity and doesn't believe in God (a heresy). Sophia is a proto-feminist, trapped by the narrowness of the role allotted to women despite her learning. Does she return Bruno's love or that of the Huguenot man who sheltered her? Canterbury Cathedral itself plays a role in the murders that ensue on its grounds, but as Bruno grows in credibility as a spy and intellectual so the foreknowledge of his dreadful fate underscores his courage with pathos. An excellent and absorbing read.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'All for a Woman and a Book' 25 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third outing for SJ Parris's Elizabethan crime-solving monk-turned-astronomer Giordano Bruno, and in my opinion this excellent series is getting better with each instalment.

At the beginning of Book 3 Bruno is reunited with a past love interest who is on the run, accused of murdering her husband. She persuades Bruno (actually he doesn't take much persuading, he is Italian after all) to go with her to Canterbury, the scene of the crime, to investigate the murder and hopefully prove her innocence. Bruno seeks permission from his employer, the Queen's Private Secretary/ Spymaster, Francis Walsingham, who fortuitously has his own reasons for wanting to send his top sleuth to Canterbury, where he suspects that a nest of Catholic sympathisers is plotting yet another dastardly scheme to overthrow Queen Bess.

So off our hero goes on another of his (mis)adventures, which he admits he falls into "as other men fall in and out of alehouses". As well as investigating the murder of his friend's husband (and several others which quickly follow once he arrives in the city) Bruno becomes involved in the search for the bones of Thomas a Becket which are thought to have been removed to a safe haven during the Dissolution, as well as having yet another close encounter with that elusive ancient manuscript by Hermes Trismegistus which Bruno and a lot of other influential people are keen to get their hands on.

SJ Parris has created an extremely likeable and believable fictional persona for Giordano Bruno (a real historical figure of course).
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