This is the second in the Matthew Shardlake mystery series, and I loved it! I have put off reading these because I was just Tudored out. But a few years have gone by and I have come back to the time period, but I will avoid anything directly to do with any of Henrys queens. Anyhow
Cromwells career is in jeopardy, and Shardlake is no longer in favor.
What I liked: I like Shardlake, a good man in a system so archaic and damaged by corruption, that it seems there is no such thing as justice. I love the cast of characters, his new side kick is one of Cromwells men and I he makes me laugh. Sansoms a master at drawing complex characters. The story is beautifully woven within real events.
What I didnt like. I think that most people get that 16th century London was filthy, but the descriptions of it gets a bit tiresome. Still 5 stars!
For those listening to the audio book, Steven Crossley is wonderful his characterizations are spot on.
A turbulent time in England and Lord Cromwell has called upon Matthew Shardlake to help him in a most urgent matter that may maintain his favor with the king. Who can you trust in such uncertain times?
Anyone remotely familiar with Henry VIII and his desperation for an heir knows the end result, but C.J. Sansom has spun a believable tale that is engaging and keeps you involved right up to the end.
Dark Fire takes place in Tudor England in 1540. Thomas Cromwell's position is in trouble and Shardlake is given the task of a young girl accused of murder. She refuses to speak in her defense and is imprisoned. Cromwell gives Shardlake 2 weeks to prove her innocence. In the meanwhile Shardlake is also commissioned to find a lost cask of Dark Fire which is a weapon of mass destruction.
This book takes up right after the events of Dissolution. The character of Shardlake grows on you as he is a good and honest man. He is commissioned once more to solve a murder mystery which has political repercussions to the success or failure of Thomas Cromwell's position. There is lots of adventure and period detail and history to be fascinated with once again. Samson's characters are complex and well-drawn. The plot is very believable and held my interest to the very end. I look forward to reading the next installment of the series and I would highly recommend this book to those who love historical mysteries.