Shardlake, that kind-hearted, hunch backed lawyer in Henry VIII’s England is at it again, this time involved in a plot to incriminate the Queen Catherine Parr.
This series of books is so evocative and immersive, I love sinking into them and being in the dark streets of London or whatever town Shardlake finds himself sent to. I love that the books pull no punches, the world is a dramatic place, but not a kind one, and murder and political intrigue, often in the guise of religion, is everywhere. The time period is very well researched, and the books are delightfully twisty and often bittersweet in tone, because Shardlake is a man of feeling in a cruel world.
This time around, he finds himself enlisted to help the Queen who has written a book secretly that, if published, could be considered heretical. And the book has been stolen. At the same time as trying to discover who has stolen it, Shardlake finds that there are also eyes on him, and that his moves may be being watched as well. It’s a game of cat and mouse that goes all the way to the top, and makes for a wonderful, adventurous read.
Read It If: you love this period of history, or if you love a great political intrigue and mystery, I didn’t guess any of the twists and turns!