• by C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by Anton Lesser
  • 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis.
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 a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth.
Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen’s family 19 years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King’s great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour....


What the Critics Say

"Murder, mystery and turbulent history are expertly twisted together in Sansom’s fifth Tudor crime novel." (Sunday Times Culture)
"CJ Sansom writes with verve and conviction, drawing the reader into the heat and terror of the summer of 1545." (The Daily Express)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Abridged ?

Sansom and Lesser great as always but why was it necessary to abridge the book ?
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- John Blackmore

Excellent book, well read

CJ Sansom's lawyer/detective is once again on a royal job that he doesn't particularly want. The writing is inspired and together with the actual historical events that are entwined in the story line, the Matthew Shardlake series of books are a pleasure to read... you can almost "smell" the 16th Century from the description. And, Anton Lesser's narration is once again excellent... just enough accent and voice change between characters to recognise each one, without getting into the world of silly voices!
If you haven't read one of these yet, I really recommend starting with "Dissolution" and going through in order, but if you start here you'll still enjoy the ride!
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- ThePuss

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-09-2010
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.