The fourth historical mystery in the compelling Shardlake series.
C. J. Sansom's bestselling adventures of Matthew Shardlake continue in the fourth title of the series, Revelation.
"Remarkable. . . . The sights, the voices, the very smell of this turbulent age seem to rise from the page." P.D. James
Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.
Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy, a religious maniac locked in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. Should he be released to his parents, when his terrifying actions could lead to him being burned as a heretic?
When an old friend is horrifically murdered Shardlake promises his widow, for whom he has long had complicated feelings, to bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to both Cranmer and Catherine Parr - and with the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.
As London's Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants Shardlake, together with his assistant, Jack Barak, and his friend, Guy Malton, follow the trail of a series of horrific murders that shake them to the core, and which are already bringing frenzied talk of witchcraft and a demonic possession - for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer . . .?
C J Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. His Shardlake series includes Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone and Lamentation. He lives in Sussex.
The fourth in a series of historical thrillers that are to Ellis Peters what P.D. James is to Agatha Christie. It works as a stand-alone novel, but aficionados will feel they are rejoining a party, catching up with old friends. The Times Sansom's powerful and seductive historicism militates against the particular and the personal, or, indeed, the naturalistic. His vivid Tudor London is larger than life, just as we fondly imagine it to be: dangerous, dirty, noisy, picturesque and above all, different. Times Literary Supplement This ambitious panorama of a book, the fourth in Sansom's series set in not-so-merrie Tudor England, more than lives up to the promise of the previous three . . . With wonderful scene-setting . . . plus some deft plotting, Revelation is an absorbing and thought-provoking window on the Tudor world. -- Laura Wilson Guardian The twists and turns of Sansom's novel are steeped in history, but feel as fresh and immediate as a present-day murder mystery. -- Daneet Steffens Time Out The fourth in C. J. Sansom's superb Tudor detective series . . . As with the previous books, Samson's narrative is highly visual and Revelation will clearly make a white-knuckle film . . . don't expect to put the book down until you've seen it through to the apocalyptic finale. Observer Compulsively gripping Tudor murder mysteries . . . As a plot with a clutch of steel pulls you through dramatic twists and turns and vivid, knowledgeable, widely diverse scenes of Tudor life, you watch Shardlake discern a terrible pattern in the butchery. -- Peter Kemp Sunday Times Culture The outstanding new whodunnit featuring Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Sunday Times 100 Best Holiday Reads I've just returned from a week in the sun when the pick of my holiday reads was C. J. Sansom's marvellous Dark Fire. It's a thrilling quest novel set in Tudor London and the second in Sansom's historical series starring the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake. If, as I've been told, the next two books (Sovereign and Revelation) are even better I have further treats in store. -- Jessie Childs Independent on Sunday summer reads There's expert historical crime to be found in . . . C. J. Sansom's Revelation, perhaps the first Tudor serial-killer mystery, which also illuminates 16th century attitudes to madness and fundamentalism. Guardian - What to pack with your beach towel He has created a hugely detailed and wonderfully plausible picture of life in 16th Century London as religious schisms threaten to tear the country apart but he sweetens the pot in this tale of a Tudor serial killer by having his characters talking in modern English. A very superior entertainment. Mail on Sunday Terror stalks Tudor London in this latest pungently atmospheric novel from the master of the historical murder mystery. Sunday Times Culture C. J. Sansom's novels, set amid the stench and scandal of the 16th century, are impressive both for their intricate detail and serpentine plot twists. Independent Books of the Year Historical mysteries are all the rage, but Sansom's are in a class of their own. His sheer narrative skill is matchless. -- Simon Shaw Mail on Sunday Only the wonderfully rich detail with which the author brings to life characters and settings lets us know that we are not in modern times, but in 1543 - and even this evocation of a filthy overcrowded London thronged with beggars and prostitutes seems uncomfortably close to present day reality . . . Mingling lightly worn erudition with pacy plotting, this is an utterly compelling read. -- Christina Koning The Times Sansom's deeply resonant novel depicts Tudor London as a benighted city overrun by fundamentalist fanatics, heretic-burners and the madness of crowds, while his narrative's tingling intrigues will have you hooked from first page to last. -- Trevor Lewis Sunday Times Sansom's evocation of 16th century London amidst the turmoil of the Reformation is compelling. -- Helen Zaltzman Observer A serial killer is using the Book of Revelation for his murders in this outstanding whodunit featuring the bestselling Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Sunday Times Culture - Your 100 Best Holiday Reads Sansom's meticulous attention to historical detail and vivid characters make this Tudor mystery as gripping and vital as any modern thriller. The Times
Short-listed for National Book Awards Crime Book of the Year 2009 (UK)
Short-listed for CWA Historical Dagger 2008 (UK)
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