Set in 1540, this beguiling tale of murder and mayhem is set against a rich backdrop of medieval London. Here, hunchbacked Matthew Shardlake is called upon to investigate the peculiar case of a young woman accused of murder.
©2004 C. J. Sansom; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
If you've read Dissolution, you'll know C.J. Sansom is a great mystery and character writer. His books are quite long so I decided to start listening to the audiobooks and I enjoyed the narrator for this one. He does good comical accents for people the listener is supposed to dislike/be suspicious of. I also like the book for the introduction of a new sidekick for Shardlake.
Mathew Shardlake is at it again! Working for Cromwell he tries to solve a mystery that turns out to be a mystery within a mystery! As an aside there is a young woman accused of child murder. This side story turns down a dark, dark lane. While some of the moves are predictable, they are satisfying. I appreciate an author who plays fair with me!
I had read Dissolution, so I understand the narrator's disillusionment with Henry VIII's religious practices. The book provides brief background so it can be read stand-alone. At times, the names of characters can be a little confusing as to who's who, but it'll make sense as you go along. All-in-all, a story that makes you want to stay in your car.
I enjoyed this as much for the picture of 13th century England as I did for the story
The narrator was terrific and the story detailed enough to hold one's interest without
getting lost in extraneous material.
The Shardlake books are the most enjoyable books I've read/listened to in a long, long time, and Dark Fire is my favorite of the series (all are excellent though). In Shardlake, Sansom has created a personable and compelling entry into the foreign world of Tudor times. Add in amazing plotting and characterization, and you've got a superb series to sink your teeth into. Crossley is one of my favorite narrators; as always, he does an amazing job of bringing to life all the different characters.
Well written, great historical details, well developed plot -- a delightful listen!
First rate narration by Steven Crossley too
I have a new Favorite Author / Narrator combo
Sansom does an amazing job depicting the political intrigue, protestant/catholic tension, the overall nature of Tudor England and the legal world surrounding it. Such a backdrop personalized through sturdy character development makes it that much more consuming. The new relationships Shardlake develops through searching out a murder and all that surrounds it had me bound to the story from beginning to end.
I loved the atmosphere and the detail of 1540's London, yuk, glad I don't live there, but what endless intrigue and double dealing.
The dark fire encounter and the narrow escape for Matthew and Jack.
Steven Crossley is a treasure. He does not miss a beat and that isn't easy in a book that is nearly 19 hours.
My extreme reaction was to its quality and interesting history. It is a pleasure to be able to immerse yourself in another time and place so completely.
Read it and then get all the other books in the series and prepare not to sleep until you are done with the last page! Enjoy yourself.
I really did like this story, but only because the imagery was very good. The beginning drew me in, but I felt the story failed to keep it's momentum. I would recommend this though, since it kept me interested, just don't have a high expectation.
I love the story line and how it was woven so cleverly with true events in history. Though fictional, using "dark Fire" as the driver for the plots for the rise and fall of the reformist movement was great. Using a lawyer as the main character is awesome. There was plenty of wit and smarts about the novel. It was a true crime drama. Crossley made this novel worth listening to. His accents and voices were well varied and i knew who was speaking based om his cues. This is the first book I've read of the Matthew Shardlake series because I didn't know anything about it when I started. This book has made me go get the others in the series. I can't wait to get started.
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