Dark Fire

Shardlake, Book 2
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Series: Matthew Shardlake, Book 2
Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The second Shardlake novel in C. J. Sansom's remarkable historical crime series.

It is 1540 and the hottest summer of the 16th century. Matthew Shardlake, believing himself out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, is busy trying to maintain his legal practice and keep a low profile. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally murdering her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king's chief minister - and a new assignment . . .

The secret of Greek Fire, the legendary substance with which the Byzantines destroyed the Arab navies, has been lost for centuries. Now an official of the Court of Augmentations has discovered the formula in the library of a dissolved London monastery. When Shardlake is sent to recover it, he finds the official and his alchemist brother brutally murdered - the formula has disappeared. Now Shardlake must follow the trail of Greek Fire across Tudor London, while trying at the same time to prove his young client's innocence. But very soon he discovers nothing is as it seems . . .

©2004 C. J. Sansom (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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  • Su
  • 02-22-18

Excellent Story

I have dementia which means it’s hard to follow a story.

This was well written but more importantly well read. It’s the reading that helps me to engage and understand.

Thank I love Matthew Shardlake and look forward to listening to the next book.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 02-01-15

Even Better Than The Last!

What did you like most about Dark Fire?

I enjoyed getting together with characters who were already old friends and...enemies! I also enjoyed meeting new ones! These books go at exactly the right pace and so feel comfortable, yet certainly not dull!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Matthew Shardlake is definitely my favourite character.

Have you listened to any of Steven Crossley’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I listened to the first book which was excellent. Try listening to them in order.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed, worried and loved.

Any additional comments?

I enjoy listening to such well written & well read novels. I wish I had longer in the day when I am listening to one of these.

7 people found this helpful

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  • eatough1999
  • 12-09-14

Engrossing

Following on from listening to Dissolution I was keen to listen to book 2.

I enjoyed this more than the first, it was 'darker' in places which added to the suspense..We were introduced to Barack a rather shady character who on the surface is rather unpleasant but his character was revealed during the course of the story.

The storyline is full of plotting, scheming and even Shardlake has his manipulative side which adds authenticity to his character.

The narration was again well done and it is pleasing to have the same voice in a series; you relate better to the characters I always think when there is consistency.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Netty
  • 02-13-15

Great story. Brilliantly narrated.

I really enjoyed this audio book. The characters were believable and the story well put together. I learnt some history along the way as well.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Clive
  • 01-21-16

Another good Shardlake story

The Shardlake series is a well-constructed set of stories. The plots are well put together, the characters are credible and the dialogue is set in the historical context without being pretentious. Well narrated by Stephen Crossley. Very enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • monoica collantine
  • 02-18-20

A good detective story with interesting historical context

The second Shardlake novel carries on the characters into a new case for Shardlake to solve. He’s joined by a minder in another case for Cromwell who turns out to be more than just a heavy but a good ally in solving the case. A good listen

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  • Angela
  • 10-26-19

stunning performance!

a mystery with historical accuracy, that keeps you guessing right til the end. several tales woven through to the conclusion. a compelling story.

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  • CDG
  • 09-28-19

Outstanding

The second book in the Shardlake Series did not fail me.

Shardlake is drawn, yet again, into danger at the behest of Thomas Cromwell on a path to recover a formula for a deadly secret weapon that could offer King Henry military and naval supremacy over England’s enemies.

The formula has fallen into the hands of two people who are attempting to use it for monetary gain.

The Monasteries have been dissolved, Reformation is under Cromwell control as he, himself has reached beyond the peak of his supreme power. His down praline is being plotted from all corners and he needs the problem solved to keep favour with the King.

Again our hero, accompanied by a new side kick, Barack, appointed by Cromwell to ensure Shardlake follows orders, comes up against foul murders and, under personal threat, has 10 days to solve the murders which would lead him to the secret weapon.

I run out of words that will adequately describe the power of the book. The outstanding story telling and the sublime mix of fiction interwoven in historical accuracy of the era is pure genius.

A wonderfully crafted story and a book I could not put down. When I finished it I pined for Shardlake.

Again the finest narration of any I have listened to as the strong and cultured voice of Steven Crossley transports me to 16th Century England.

I have just started book three in the series. I could put it off no longer.

** Do listen to the authors historical notes at the end.

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  • Jonny Rankin
  • 08-09-19

What a journey so far!

Really enjoyed Dissolution but Dark fire is even better. Steven Crossley narrates excellently and you really get a feel for the characters. Now, book 3 begins.

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  • Nick Hutchinson
  • 08-07-19

Couldn’t wait for the next chapter

A great yarn brilliantly researched and written
If you’re into historical/ medieval who dun it stories you will thoroughly enjoy Dark Fire
Excellent narration with lots of insights into the lives of the people of Tudor era.