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Dissolution Cover

ISBN13: 9780142004302
ISBN10: 0142004308
Condition: Standard
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From Dissolution: He stared at me. When he spoke again it was almost a whisper. "You should have seen this house just five years ago, before the King's divorce. . . . It's not just myself I mourn for, Commissioner, it's the tradition, the life. Already these last two years order has started to break down. We all used to believe the same things, think the same way, but already the reforms have brought discord, disagreement. And now murder. Dissolution, " he whispered. "Dissolution." I saw two great tears take form in the corners of his eyes. "I will sign the Instrument of Surrender, " he almost whispered. "I have no alternative, have I?" 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 protege, 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 thecommunity 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.

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Edward Hahn, February 7, 2014 (view all comments by Edward Hahn)
An excellent and surprisingly interesting historical novel that takes place during a period of English History I know little about: the dissolution of the Roman Catholic establishment and transfer to the new religion of Henry VIII.

The protagonist, Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer, is sent to a monastery on the coast of Sussex to solve the murder of his predecessor and also to dissolve the monastery. Written in the first person the book allows us to see the situation and the times as they were experienced by Shardlake not as an observer. He has his good moments and his bad. He is human. As the story progresses he changes his view of both the monks and his charge.

The suspense is palpable as Shardlake puts himself in harm's way. The story winds down without leaving the reader feeling rushed. All in all, an enjoyable read and highly recommended.
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Donald McDougall, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Donald McDougall)
I have read all of Sansom's book. Dissolution is the first in the series and nearly the best. I very much enjoyed the tale. Historical fiction from a very interesting time in the history of England, and about an important matter which most experts do not know much detail about -- the dissolution of the monasteries. I think it is well worth reading and I am now ordering it for a friend.
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Anna Hernandez, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Anna Hernandez)
Another book I couldn't put down. I've been to several of the places that the characters describe so I was transported there but not to modern day but to the middle of the reign of Henry VIII, that's how good the historical research in this book it. The characters are well drawn and the dialogue is beautifully written. You actually feel like you could be friends with the main character so that during his trials and tribulations you yearn to reach out and comfort him. The author’s view of the political reasons behind the dissolutions of the monasteries and the religious upheavals is also very interesting.
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Product Details

Sansom, C. J.
Penguin Books
Sansom, C. J.
Sansom, C. J.
Religious - General
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Mystery & Detective - General
Historical fiction
Mystery fiction
Mystery Historical
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Matthew Shardlake Mysteries
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
Inlcude endpaper art from hard cover in
8.10x4.90x.74 in. .58 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

Dissolution Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142004302 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer."
"Synopsis" by ,

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.


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