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on 13 June 2017
This was excellent. As usual. At 500 pages plus, I read it in a day, staying up later than I should have to finish it.

Sansom puts over the dangerous, divisive atmosphere of 16th century London well - a place where a misplaced word can get you arrested, and where religion is an increasingly dangerous business. Matthew Shardlake, an ethical man, is finding that the behaviour of both sides is making him lose his faith in God.

There are many strands to this story - not just the murder mystery, but questions of religion, faith, ethics, and the different kinds of, and reasons for, mental illness. Personal relationships, too, are a theme, with various relationships in trouble in different ways, and how the principals solve their problems - or not. Contrasting one with another adds layers and meaning to the story.

All in all, a really excellent read. Highly recommended.
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on 20 June 2015
Probably my favourite C.J. Sansom book of the Shardlake serious.

Imagine a world where religion is at the center of people's lives. Imagine a time when ordinary people were given the opportunity to read God's Words in their own language for the first time. Combined with the political, social and religious struggles of that time, Sansom gives us a glimpse into a world where religious fanaticism leads us to a series of murders as gruesome as they can get.

Without getting into the plot which has been reviewed from previous readers, Sansom shows that he is the master of historical thrillers because he's able to show the various angles and traps a person can get into on a very personal level. History, as it happened or at least we think it happened, comes to life through the lives of Sansom's characters. And in the middle of it, our voice of reason, Matthew Shardlake.
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on 8 July 2017
So many have reviewed this series, so I will just add my praise for this author. I have read the series in order, and will embark on 'Heartstone' next. Such good writing, and obviously the subject matter is thoroughly researched. Not always easy reading, but equally, impossible to put down.

Matthew Shardlake is such a good character, with his insecurities, fears and strengths. The supporting cast are equally fascinating, and all the fictional characters are woven into the events of the time. Really absorbing reading.
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on 25 July 2017
Really no need to describe the plot, as it's there in previous posts. Just to add....LOVE these books! Love, love them! Historical novels at their very, very best! Am "aching" for C.J. Sansom to pick up his pen again! Trust me, if you love history, love mystery, you will adore the Shardlake series.
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on 10 May 2013
C J Sansom's 'Shardlake' series just gets better. The trouble I find with this series of historical novels set around the reign of Henry VIII is that I fall straight in to them and, neglecting everything else, they're over too quickly. That's not to say they are short novels - not in the least. 'Revelation' is a good length set around an interesting plot. There is much in the news nowadays about serial killers, so taking this theme back to the early 16th C is a novel idea, which works splendidly, and links together the unsettled religion of those days and the understanding of mental illnesses.
This is a book I heartily recommend to all lovers of historical fiction.
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on 4 August 2017
I love these stories, the history,the intrigue. Every page full of mystery and murder .just when you think you know who did it, it throws off another twist in the story. brilliant page turner.
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on 1 May 2017
Advise to start at first in the series, Dissolution. I would probably not have picked this from the shelf. I have just joined a book club and this was the book of choice. I have now read the series. 5 star reading, start to finish.
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on 21 May 2017
I have enjoyed this fourth book in the series I can't wait to read the last two books in the series. C . J. Sansom is really a great author
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on 21 August 2017
Enjoyable read. Good sense of history, the characters and places come alive through the careful description and comfortable writing style.
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on 11 August 2017
Up to the usual excellent standard. A plot full of intrigue and twists, wonderful characterisation, and the period brought vividly to life.
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