8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great First Novel,
This review is from: Dissolution (Hardcover)
Dissolution, and C. J. Sansom's new novel, Dark Fire, both feature the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake as the protagonist. Dissolution takes place soon after Anne Boleyn's death, right at the start of Henry VIII and Lord Cromwell's dissolution of the monasteries.
In this novel, Shardlake is sent, with his assistant, by Cromwell to investigate a murder at a monastery. From there, the plot becomes more complicated :-)
As a first novel, this one is a very promising start to a career. Having read Dark Fire as well, I can fully attest that I think Matthew Shardlake's progress will be of great interest to a number of new fans. Sansom manages to introduce a lawyer who is clearly flawed- he has strong views on religion, class, politics, etc.- not to mention his own appearance and self-worth- and tends to believe others should feel the same way. But even in this first novel, the readers can see the seed of doubt growing in Shardlake's mind about the turmoil of the times and I'm very interested to see where Sansom takes Shardlake as his series (hopefully) continues.
There has been a recent revival in the historical mystery, from Sharon Kay Penman's medieval mysteries with Justin de Quincy, to mysteries set in Regency London with Beau Brummell and several continuing the stories of Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England. With Matthew Shardlake and Dissolution, followed by Dark Fire, C. J. Sansom creates his own niche in the tumultuous era of the Tudor dynasty.