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

Lamentation

Matthew Shardlake #6

by C.J. Sansom

Lamentation by C.J. Sansom X
Lamentation by C.J. Sansom
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2015
    656 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. As heretics are hunted across London, and radical Protestants are burned at the stake, the Catholic party focuses its attack on Henry's sixth wife - and Matthew Shardlake's old mentor - Queen Catherine Parr.

Shardlake, still haunted by his narrow escape from death the year before, steps into action when the beleaguered and desperate Queen summons him to Whitehall Palace to help her recover a dangerous manuscript. The Queen has authored 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. Although the secret book was kept hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has inexplicably vanished. Only one page has been recovered - 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 his trusty assistant Jack Barak into the dark and labyrinthine world of court politics, a world Shardlake swore never to enter again. In this crucible of power and ambition, Protestant friends can be as dangerous as Catholic enemies, and those with shifting allegiances can be the most dangerous of all.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Everything works in Sansom's superb sixth Matthew Shardlake novel (after 2011's Heartstone): the murder mystery with grave political implications, the depiction of Tudor England, and the further development of a lead who's both courageous and flawed." - Publishers Weekly

"Brilliantly sketched [with] Shakespearean characterization and Byzantine plotting: Amid all the stink and muck of Tudor London, Sansom offers a master class in royal intrigue." - Kirkus

"The best Shardlake yet." - The Independent (UK)

"Sansom conjures the atmosphere, costumes and smells of Tudor London with vigour, from the gilded halls of Whitehall Palace to the dungeons of the Tower...Lamentation builds to a shocking climax." - The Guardian (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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