Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)
Elizabethan Era Thriller
As a lover of all things Tudor and Elizabethan, I thoroughly enjoyed S.J. Parris' Heresy. The book follows monk and scientist Giordano Bruno as he is called to London on a secret mission at the behest of Sir Francis Walsingham. This mission becomes secondary to Bruno's inadvertent involvement and subsequent investigation of several murders at Oxford University. Rich with accurate period detail and multi-dimensional characters, Heresy is one for the bookshelves for lovers of English historical fiction.
Mary Ellen L. (Canfield, OH)
Heresy is billed as a historical thriller and lives up to its promotional materials. The novel contains vivid descriptions of the turbulent 16th century as seen through the eyes of a renegade Italian monk visiting Oxford University. A mystery evolves which is solved by the visitor's intuition and wit, a pleasant diversion from the current crime-solving techniques of CSI. For history and mystery buffs, this is an interesting read.
Nona F. (Evanston, IL)
Heresy, by SJ Parris
Readers of historical mystery novels will welcome the publication of Heresy by SJ Parris, a fast-paced novel of multiple murders at an Oxford college during the middle of the reign of Elizabeth I. Our detective protagonist is the Renaissance savant Giordano Bruno—excommunicant former monk and tutor in the study of memory to the King of France—whose latest move to escape the Inquisition on the continent is flight to England, where he becomes a somewhat unwilling spy in Walsingham’s secret service.
Charged with rooting out Catholic dissidents at Oxford, Bruno finds himself an outsider looking in, a good position for a detective, but a dangerous one for a foreigner and a nominal Catholic during this period of English history. The novel is cleverly plotted (it kept me guessing the identity of the murderer until the denouement), easily mixes historical with fictional figures, and gives a good sense of the intellectual and political atmosphere of the period. The Catholic threat to England’s stability as portrayed in the novel resonates with our own contemporary concerns regarding homeland security. Readers will need to be on the alert (or be able to flip easily back and forth) early on, when a number of characters are introduced all at once at Oxford. The ending implies that there will be additional books in the series, and I look forward to the author developing his major characters more fully in the future.
Barbara R. (Fort Myers, FL)
I enjoy historical mysteries and Heresy did not let me down. Many twists, turns and surprises. I cannot wait for another Giordana Bruno adventure by S.J. Parris.
Mary R. (Eagan, Minnesota)
Heresy by S.J. Parris
Heresy by Parris is enticing and layered. This is a great book club book! The ending was not at all what I expected and the murderer was not even on my radar. This is a book that brought up questions about politics and religion, love and betrayal, and right and wrong. I kept thinking about how this book relates to today and how people are still fighting about religion. Reading Heresy made me interested in researching more about Giordano Bruno - a complex man who finally met his end at the hands of the Inquisition.