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Most Helpful Favorable Review
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
The best aspect of this novel is that it is seen through the eye
The best aspect of this novel is that it is seen through the eyes of Sansom's main character,a hunchback lawyer, who has brilliant deductive powers and an almost photographic memory, in the service of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the only fully developed "famous"...
The best aspect of this novel is that it is seen through the eyes of Sansom's main character,a hunchback lawyer, who has brilliant deductive powers and an almost photographic memory, in the service of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the only fully developed "famous" historical figure in the story. This is the third Matthew Shardlake mystery and while I recommend reading them in order, the novels largely stand alone. Matthew Shardlake has two missions in York: the first is to assist with legal petitions to the King, the second is a secret commission on behalf of Archbishop Cranmer. Matthew Shardlake is a lawyer in London who is sent to York ostensibly to handle legal petitions when the King visits on his great Progress; but also on a clandestine assignment from the great Archbishop Cranmer himself - to guard over a prisoner's well-being so he can be safely taken back to London and face the experts in the Tower who will administer his interrogation. Chaos ensues early on when a glazier is murdered and Shardlake overhears a dying man's last words that may have secret meaning. When attempts are made on Shardlake's life, it seems no one can be trusted and everyone is a suspect. Matthew Shardlake is as admirable and likeable as ever. He has an abnormally curved back which makes him the butt of cruel jokes, but his deformity has not robbed him of his self-respect. His keen intellect and determination propel him to disregard his personal safety in order to bring a murderer to justice. Shardlake and Jack make a solid team: Matthew has experience, a thorough knowledge of the law, and patience; what Barak lacks in seasoning and judgment he makes up for in loyalty, courage, and strength. Jack looks up to Matthew, who has taught the younger man to venerate learning and behave with integrity. Recommended to all who like mysteries based in history.
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Most Helpful Critical Review
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Posted March 22, 2011
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