Heartstone: Book summary and reviews of Heartstone by C. J. Sansom

Heartstone

A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery #5

By C. J. Sansom

Heartstone
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011,
    640 pages.

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Book Summary

Summer, 1545. England is at war, and Matthew Shardlake is about to encounter the most politically dangerous case of his career. While a massive French fleet prepares to attack, every able-bodied man is being pressed into military service. Meanwhile, an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr asks Shardlake to investigate claims of "monstrous wrongs" committed against a young ward of the court. Shardlake's inquiries take him and his loyal assistant, Jack Barak, to Hoyland Priory and Portsmouth, where the English fleet is gathering. There they uncover a startling link between the ward and a woman incarcerated in Bedlam.

With a fantastic backdrop of wartime intrigue and a dramatic finale on board one of Henry VIII's great warships, Heartstone is certain to catapult this internationally bestselling series to greater prominence.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Strong prose makes Tudor England instantly accessible, and the clockwork plotting sustains deep interest throughout." - Publishers Weekly

"Enjoyable for mystery, thriller, and historical fiction readers, this is also recommended to fans of all things Tudor." - Library Journal

"Engrossing." - The Spectator (UK)

"Atmospheric and erudite ... Not since Umberto Eco penned The Name of the Rose has a historical crime novelist captured so perfectly a people and their place, and harnessed them with such intelligence and credibility to shadowy tales of politics, misdeeds, murder and mystery." - Lancashire Evening Post (UK)

"An enthralling historical crime novel packed with details of life in Tudor England. Highly recommended." - Irish Independent

"Compulsively readable and highly satisfying. ... An entirely engrossing novel with an intriguing twist." - Daily Express (UK)

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Author Information

C. J. Sansom Author Biography

C. J. Sansom was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor (lawyer). He practiced for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, then he quit in order to work full-time as a writer. C.J. Sansom is the #1 bestselling author of the Matthew Shardlake series of historical thrillers.

Dark Fire won the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger and Sansom was "Very Highly Commended" in the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library award, for the Shardlake series.

The BBC have commissioned an adaptation of Dissolution with the actor Kenneth Branagh set to star as Shardlake. The rest of the Shardlake books are expected to follow.



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