by C. J. Sansom
Part of the The Shardlake Series series
Matthew Shardlake is back in Lamentation, from the number one bestselling author C.
J. Sansom. Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry's successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward.
As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake's old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr.
Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings.
Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked for help by his old patron, the now beleaguered and desperate Queen.
For Catherine Parr has a secret. She has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King's attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has - inexplicably - vanished.
Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer.
Shardlake's investigations take him on a trail that begins among the backstreet printshops of London but leads him and Jack Barak into the dark and labyrinthine world of the politics of the royal court; a world he had sworn never to enter again.
Loyalty to the Queen will drive him into a swirl of intrigue inside Whitehall Palace, where Catholic enemies and Protestant friends can be equally dangerous, and the political opportunists, who will follow the wind wherever it blows, more dangerous than either. The theft of Queen Catherine's book proves to be connected to the terrible death of Anne Askew, while his involvement with the Cotterstoke litigants threatens to bring Shardlake himself to the stake. The previous books in the bestselling Shardlake series are Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation and Heartstone.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 656 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 23/10/2014
- Category: Historical mysteries
- ISBN: 9780230744196
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by devenish
Where C.J.Sansom scores over other authors writing about the same period is in his creation of Matthew Shardlake. This sympathetic and rather vulnerable figure is central to the whole series of six (thus far) books. In 'Lamentation' he is asked by the Queen,Catherine Parr to recover a book which has been stolen. This book 'Lamentation of a Sinner' ha been written by Catherine Parr and if found by her enemies,could end in her downfall.In a word - Brilliant !
Review by pierthinker
'Lamentation' is the 6th instalment in the 'Shardlake' series from C. J. Sansom and continues in the same high quality mould. Shardlake is a lawyer living during Henry VIII's times who becomes involved in retrieving the manuscript of a dangerous book written by Catherine Parr, Henry's sixth wife and Shardlake's old patron. This novel works at two distinct levels: a political thriller where Court intrigue is a fluid game of alliances and enmities between senior figures vying for power and position as Henry approaches the end of his reign; and, an adventure as Shardlake and his team battle to retrieve the lost manuscript across Tudor London.Sansom uses his historical skills to present a clear picture of life at all social levels in London and to show the real dangers and opportunities affecting people in this world. The London presented here feels like a 'real' place and the characters are people we care about and are interested in.Another hit.