Heartstone Author:C.J. Sansom This is the new Shardlake mystery from the No 1 bestselling author of "REVELATION". Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. Th... more »e King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour: the Mary Rose...« less
I have read all the previous Shardlake mysteries and enjoyed them. For whatever reason, this one was much longer than the others or, at least, it seemed like it. As such, it dragged a bit. It appears that Sansom tried to stuff too much into this novel and as a result the storyline suffered.
Still, when the next Shardlake mystery appears, I'll read that one too.
I always love spending time with Matthew Shardlake and Jack Barak. As far as character series go, the Shardlake novels are in my top 3 of historical fiction series. Sansom has created a unique character set in Tudor England, a hunchbacked lawyer with a heart of gold that seems to find himself intwined in mysteries and danger in pursuit of justice for the powerless. Heartstone, published in 2010 is the latest in the series, so Mr. Sansom, we are waiting anxiously for the next installment. Hop to it!
Slow start,but it was an exciting ride to the finish!
Lots of flashbacks to the previous stories this one builds off of the prior story events to build excitement and drama, but it was these same flashbacks that may have overburdened the storyline initially.
If nothing else, Matthew Shardlake certainly led an adventuresome life during the medieval period...yes I know it's fiction ;P Nonetheless it was a fast paced fun story once you got to it, with a couple of twists that made it worthwhile!