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Heresy: An Elizabethan Thrillerby S. J. Parris
Synopses & Reviews
Masterfully blending true events with fiction, this blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page-turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth-century Oxford University campus.
Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.
In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.
His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy.
Like The Dante Club and The Alienist, this clever, sophisticated, exceptionally enjoyable novel is written with the unstoppable narrative propulsion and stylistic flair of the very best historical thrillers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Thrilling new historical fiction starring a scoundrel with a heart of gold and set in the darkest debtors prison in Georgian London, where people fall dead as quickly as they fall in love and no one is as they seem.
Its 1727. Tom Hawkins is damned if hes going to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a country parson. Not for him a quiet life of prayer and propriety. His preference is for wine, women, and cards. But theres a sense of honor there too, and Tom wont pull family strings to get himself out of debt—not even when faced with the appalling horrors of Londons notorious debtors prison: The Marshalsea Gaol.
Within moments of his arrival in the Marshalsea, Hawkins learns theres a murderer on the loose, a ghost is haunting the gaol, and that hell have to scrounge up the money to pay for his food, bed, and drink. Hes quick to accept an offer of free room and board from the mysterious Samuel Fleet—only to find out just hours later that it was Fleets last roommate who turned up dead. Toms choice is clear: get to the truth of the murder—or be the next to die.
When fugitive Italian monk Giordano Bruno—philosopher, magician, and heretical scientist—arrives in London, he’s only one step ahead of the Inquisition. An undercover mission for Queen Elizabeth I and her spymaster provides added protection. Officially, Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe at Oxford University; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen. But when his mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly deaths and the charms of a mysterious but beautiful young woman, he realizes that somewhere within Oxford’s private chambers lurks a brutal killer. . .
About the Author
S. J. PARRIS is a contributing journalist for various newspapers and magazines including the Observer, the Guardian, and the New Statesman.
From the Hardcover edition.
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