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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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  • Overall
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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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • periodictable
  • 02-07-15

Intelligent historical mystery

If you could sum up Dark Fire in three words, what would they be?

Intricate, intriguing, satisfying.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Shardlake seeking out a relationship with Lady Honour was sadly rebuffed. We felt for him as a modern audience. The final confrontation with the blind matriarch was particularly gruesome.

Any additional comments?

The parallel plots of seeking Greek Fire and seeking evidence of the innocence of Elizabeth were particularly well executed. The introduction of Barak as the companion/foil for Shardlake bodes well for future stories - is it not an indication of the quality of the work that even half way through this I was planning on listening to the next instalment in the series, so good is the plotting and the execution of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryanswhiskey
  • 09-18-18

Great narrator but disappointed with story.

Steven Crossley does a great job narrating this but I was very disappointed with the meandering story. I greatly enjoyed the first book in the series but found this one very, very disappointing.

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  • Alex Parr
  • 08-21-18

Excellent Historical Mystery

I love the Shardlake character and the historical background is fascinating. I can't wait to read the next adventure.

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  • Rosaline
  • 07-24-18

First class historical fiction

A well written, gripping story. The narration is excellent and fits in well with my own reading of the print book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-21-18

Superb

Samson's hunchbacked lawyer Shardlake in his second story is a brilliant creation . The story is finely and consistently narrated and never flags. first rate stuff.

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  • Kevin
  • 06-05-18

Outstanding work from a modern day master!

I simply couldn't put this book down. The characterization is rich and colourful and the attention to detail is exquisite.