This was a great read, jam-packed with action, suspense and rich, historical detail.
It has been a few years since I last read a Shardlake book before I picked this one up, and I wish I'd done it sooner. It's set several years after Shardlake's last outing, and the truth is I'd forgotten how much I love these books.
Shardlake is a great character: nice enough to make you care, flawed enough to keep you interested. In this story - as he heads to Portsmouth amid the threat of a French invasion - there is a little extra introspection thrown in, and there are some lovely changes to Shardlake's relationship with Barak. But of course it's really all about the plot, and what I'd forgotten is what a compulsive story C J Sansom tells. I was swiftly drawn in and enjoyed this enormously, start to finish.
The plot is strong, the historical detail creates a rich tapestry which never steals focus, and the mysteries will keep you guessing just the right amount.