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Heartstone

Shardlake, Book 5
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Series: Matthew Shardlake, Book 5
Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shardlake goes to war...

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel . . .Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr.

Asked to investigate claims of ‘monstrous wrongs' committed against his young ward, Hugh Curteys, by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. There, Shardlake also intends to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. Once in Portsmouth, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing for war.

The mysteries surrounding the Hobbey family and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Soon events will converge on board one of the king's great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet. . .

©2010 C. J. Sansom (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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  • Mrs
  • 12-01-15

A Dark and Enthralling blend of fact and fiction

What did you like most about Heartstone?

This is another of the Shardlake tales with its mixture of fiction set against a background of actual events that are blended seamlessly and engagingly.
This installment in the saga deals with gender issues and one of the great tragedies of British naval history: the loss of the Mary Rose. The account of the final hours of the vessel are harrowing and the reader feels there with Shardlake aboard the doomed vessel and her crew.Several narrative threads are brought together by the end of the novel and the story of Ellen, the woman confined in Bedlam is resolved.
While there is happiness for some characters there is deep tragedy for others and Matthew Shardlake finds himself confronting the seemingly invulnerable Richard Rich yet again.
The characters are fully rounded and the pace never falters. Highly recommended to lovers of fine fiction.

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

Steven Crossley's narration is excellent as he captures the male characters superbly, however, his attempts with the female characters are less successful, but perhaps it is setting expectations too high.

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

The book kept me enthralled from start to finish.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to hear the next installment!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • sally
  • 12-08-18

Another clever weave

Addictive and absorbing. Lovely weave of character and plot. Unbelievable coincidences in this one spoiled the last tenth

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Rayner
  • 08-05-15

Shardlake triumphs again.

I read the first four books in paperback. They translate well to the spoken format, although the maps to be found on the C J Sansom website are a welcome aid to picturing the peregrinations of Shardlake around Southern England. I would also recommend a trip to the Mary Rose museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Whether this would be more enjoyable before or after the book I don't know. I visited it before, but I might return.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • martin
  • 10-15-19

A Masterclass of Historical fiction

C J Sansom has become a master of his craft, his weaving of Shardlake's progress through key events in Britain's history is both subtle and seamless. Heartstone has lead me to research more about the period, such is my interest.

Having lived in Portsmouth, I greatly enjoyed recognising geographical locations and events detailed in the story.

Each of the Shardlake Novels differ greatly in subject, so you never get the feeling of repetition even though this is the 5th story so far. The continuation of various characters becomes a reward for sticking with the series, as each are rich and complex.

I am eager to read more of Shardlake's adventures.

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  • Spiritdancer
  • 08-26-19

C J Sansome does it again

Another great book in the Shardlake series. Twists and turns at every corner. I adore these books and wonderfully narrated by Seven Crossley.

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  • Melanie H.
  • 08-18-19

Gripping

Yet another great book. The story is superb as is the narration. I would highly recommend. Looking forward to starting the next one in the series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-19

Loved it!

I just love the narrator Steven Crossley and his gorgeous voice would put me to sleep if the storyline wasn't so gripping. When I listened to the first book in the Shardlake series I was so happy when I found out there were so many books in the series and I knew I was going to end up buying them all. I feel I am learning so much about history while being entertained with a such an engaging storyline.

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  • sleepyjacs
  • 06-09-19

Another good listen

C J Sansom continues with his tudor sleuth, Master Shardlake. This story has several threads that weave in and out of each other, with a satisfying conclusion. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

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  • Stitcher
  • 05-31-19

Superb

This is such a complex book which is full of historical.detail whilst being utterly compelling in its dealing with deep human emotions. The relationship between Shardlake and Barack develops further. I found this book the most affecting when reading it but I am convinced that it has a lot to do with the wonderful reading of Stephen Crossley. Whenever Shardlake and Guy or Shardlake and Jack are in conversation, it really seems that two different people are speaking.
How skilful is the writing too. I think Sansom and Crossley are a superb combination.

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  • tannerman
  • 05-23-19

At the top of his game

I have read all the Shardlake books and listened to many of the audio books. Not only is this the best in my view, but Steven Crossley’s narration is masterful. As a broadcaster who teaches voice training, I can really appreciate when in the presence of excellence.