This is a great series; I've loved all five books.
Rich details and characterization...a window into the upheaval of the Reformation on all. Keeps you engaged and guessing right up until the end.
Last night I finished Dissolution by C.J. Sansom. This is the first of the Matthew Shardlake books. After all the favorable comments I’ve read about this series, I have to say I was quite disappointed.
The overall story is generally somewhat interesting, but the Shardlake character was rather narrow-minded and insensitive, particularly in how he deals with his protege Mark Poer, to whom he never seems to make an encouraging or positive remark. At the end, as a matter of fact, Mark comments that Shardlake never really listened to him, just used him as a sounding board for Shardlake’s own opinions and prejudices. I was also surprised that, for a man who had some reputation at solving mysteries, many times Shardlake failed to follow up on an idea or a clue, being diverted to something else (often trivial), and apparently losing that thread of thinking for quite a time. At one point, for instance, he’s climbed up onto a workman’s scaffolding sort of thing in the church and sees a big basket of tools; you think he’s going to look in it for the missing church relics, you can almost see the thought going through his mind, and then he moves right past it.
If this had been more poorly written, because the author is pretty skillful with language and bits of what we have to think are fairly authentic glimpses of Tudor life, or if the book had been longer, I’d never have finished it. As it was, I read it in bits and pieces over 3 weeks, which is a long, long time for me to take over one book.