3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Heresy, S.J. Parris - An entertaining read, well worth a look,
This review is from: Heresy (Hardcover)
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Set in 16th century England this novel follows the adventures of Giordano Bruno, a free thinker in an age where thoughts could be dangerous, in Elizabethan Oxford. Sent there on a commission from the head of Elizabeth Tudor's secret service, Walsingham, and with a few personal goals in mind he soon finds himself involved in a series of bloody murders.
All the ingredients are here - search for a lost ancient heretical text, gory and inventinve deaths, quirky protagonist, political machinations, the great religious upheaval of the 16th century and the struggles of the people caught up in it. The ground is familiar, and will inevitably draw comparisons with the Shardlake novels and 'The Name of the Rose. (Personally, given the inspiration for the methods of death and the inventiveness with which they are realised, I was also reminded slightly of the 'Abominable Dr. Phibes'!) An author has to do very well to standout and not be accused of a tired retread. S.J. Parris does remarkably well.
The book has been well researched, and, apart from some of the speech, there are no glaring anachronisms. Her writing style nicely brings to life Elizabethan Oxford, and I found the central character to be well drawn and interesting. The plot is nicely intricate and involving, and though it seems to go over old ground it is told in such a way as to keep you interested. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and look forward with great anticipation to the next instalment.
Recommended to all lovers good mystery novels and historical fiction.