Six hundred and thirty four pages may seem intimidating to a reader. But not if the author is C. J. Sansom. Mixing history, mystery and human nature Sansom has masterfully crafted the Matthew Shardlake series.
It's the reign of Henry VIII and England is in turmoil. A French armada is gathering in the Channel readying for battle. Henry is amassing an army to face the threat. But wars cost money and Henry's coffers are nearly empty. The buying and selling of wardships has become very lucrative for the King. Many are willing to pay large sums to become the guardian of an underage orphan. Especially if that orphan is heir to a large estate. Matthew Shardlake is a lawyer, despised by many. He is also a hunchback, feared by the superstitious. He has undertaken work for the Crown on several occasions and has sworn to refuse any more royal requests. Catherine Parr, the latest queen on the throne, calls in a favor and engages Matthew to investigate a case of wardship. A former servant of the Queen's has reported that young Hugh Curtys is being abused by his guardian. Catherine would like Matthew to investigate the situation for her.
The facts lead Matthew to an estate near Portsmouth. Something is amiss with Hugh Curtys's relationship with his guardian's family but Matthew can't put his finger on just what it is.The clues draw him closer to Portsmouth where Henry means to take on the French armada. His greatest warships the Mary Rose and the Great Harry are readying their guns and taking on archers and foot soldiers unfamiliar with sea battles. Matthew hurries to find the answer to his puzzle and flee the area before the carnage begins.
Sansom draws the reader into a Tudor world rich in detail. The unexpected twists and turns take the reader by surprise as plots and subplots twine together flawlessly to reach a satisfying conclusion. It is well worth 634 pages to meet Matthew Shardlake. Check catalog for availability.
Submitted by Jan @ Capitol