Having read all the Shardlake books (and having started to get sick of the formula) I picked this up expecting much the same as before.
Well, it is similar, in that Sansom still urgently needs an editor. There's still far too much of "The next day I went....." and "The day after that I visited....". Shardlake has THOUSANDS of conversations. There's meant to be a BBC series in the works, and it may actually be a bit of an improvement dramatically, as they certainly won't be afraid to cut out a lot of the waste.
But this book ramps up the action in that there are a vast amount of murders, and they're grisly enough to satisfy anyone. This means that there's a murder every 20 pages or so, which is pretty good fun and makes it quite a page-turner. I didn't guess who the killer was at all, which I liked, and even the day after finishing the book I was turning the plot over in my mind.
Shardlake still comes across as quite a kind man, principally, so you do like him throughout. I thought his character came out of this book in particular quite well. He's a relucatant hero, but he tries to help his friends and he's not a coward.
His romantic wistfulness though is getting ridiculously repetitive now though. How many times is he going to have an unrequited attraction? And it's all so CHASTE! Sansom really needs to amp the sexual tension up a bit. We need to think Our Hero isn't completely unfanciable!
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