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Dissolutionby C J Sansom
With extremely good writing and a clever interweaving of history, C. J. Sansom has introduced a new mystery series that focuses on Tudor England and a protagonist who works for Thomas Cromwell. I'm looking forward to further investigations by this sharp, new character.
Synopses & Reviews
THE ANTICIPATED FOLLOWUP TO THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER, THE HANGMANS DAUGHTER
1660: Winter has settled thick over a sleepy village in the Bavarian Alps, ensuring every farmer and servant is indoors the night a parish priest discovers he's been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength to scratch a cryptic sign in the frost.
Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl; his headstrong daughter Magdalena; and the town physicians son team up with the priests aristocratic sister to investigate. What they uncover will lead them back to the Crusades, unlocking a troubled history of internal church politics and sending them on a chase for a treasure of the Knights Templar.
But theyre not the only ones after the legendary fortune. A team of dangerous and mysterious monks is always close behind, tracking their every move, speaking Latin in the shadows, giving off a strange, intoxicating scent. And to throw the hangman off their trail, they have ensured he is tasked with capturing a band of thieves roving the countryside attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic.
Delivering on the promise of the international bestseller The Hangmans Daughter, once again based on prodigious historical research into Pötzschs family tree, The Dark Monk takes us on a whirlwind tour through the occult hiding places of Bavarias ancient monasteries, bringing to life an unforgettable compassionate hangman and his tenacious daughter, painting a robust tableau of a seventeenth-century Bavaria still negotiating the lasting impacts of war, and quickening our pulses with a gripping, mesmerizing mystery.
"Reminiscent of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose (without much of the intellectual discourse), Sansom's first novel will not disappoint fans of historical fiction." Booklist
"With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer." Publishers Weekly
Picking up where international bestseller The Hangman's Daughter left off, the highly anticipated sequel about a dark legacy of the Knights Templar.
From the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written first novel in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series
Dissolution is an utterly riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIIIs feared vicar general, summons fellow reformer Matthew Shardlake to lead the inquiry. Shardlake and his young protégé uncover evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason, and when two other murders are revealed, they must move quickly to prevent the killer from striking again.
A "remarkable debut" (P. D. James), Dissolution introduces a thrilling historical series that is not to be missed by fans of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
It is the winter of 1537 and England is divided into those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the King and the newly established Church of England. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar-general, crusades against the old Church with savage new laws, rigged trials, and a vast network of informers. Queen Anne Boleyn has been beheaded and monasteries are being dissolved-their treasures pillaged and their lands eyed greedily by courtiers and country gentry. But having put down one people's rebellion, Cromwell fears another might topple the realm. So, when one of his commissioners is murdered in the monastery at Scarnsea on the south coast of England, he enlists his fellow reformer, Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," to head the inquiry.
When Shardlake and his young clerk and protégé, Mark Poer, arrive at Scarnsea, the two are greeted with thinly veiled hostility and suspicion as their investigation quickly uncovers evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason. While the community of brothers is revealed to be far less pious than they would seem, Shardlake himself is shocked to discover truths about Cromwell that undermine his own beliefs and threaten to cost him his faith, and even his life. But when a novice is poisoned and a year-old corpse dredged up from a nearby pond, Shardlake must act quickly to prevent the killer from murdering again
Exciting and elegant, Dissolution is a riveting historical novel and a brilliant debut by a writer who is sure to attract fans of Iain Pears, Ellis Peters, and Umberto Eco.
About the Author
C. J. Sansom earned a Ph.D. in history and was a lawyer before becoming a full-time writer.
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