When I first picked up this book I was intrigued by its premise. We are awash with historical novels of the Tudor period and my shelves are groaning under the weight of many of them but this book offered me something new – a historically researched murder mystery set during the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s coupled with a tantalising sprinkling of intrigues of the Tudor court in the person of Thomas Cromwell.
The ‘hero’ (and I use this word loosely) is Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer and commissioner in service to Cromwell. The character seems an odd choice of ‘hero’ but as the story progresses you do empathise with him and his mannerisms. The book is written in the first person and nothing is said or described that Shardlake does not participate in himself which makes the twists and turns in the novel even more exciting as you wait for him to investigate the next clue.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel which I have discovered is part of a series and I look forward to the next in the series (there are 4 books in all) – Dark Fire which I am in no doubt I will consume as readily as I did this one.