Reviews

‘If this isn’t the best crime novel of the year, then we’re going to have a great year’
Radio 4's Front Row

‘Historical mysteries are all the rage, but Sansom’s are in a class of their own. His sheer narrative skill is matchless’
Mail on Sunday
 
‘Compulsively gripping Tudor murder mysteries . . . As a plot with a clutch of steel pulls you through dramatic twists and turns and vivid, knowledgeable, widely diverse scenes of Tudor life, you watch Shardlake discern a terrible pattern in the butchery . . . Shardlake’s tracking down of the zealous psychotic makes for a terrific whodunnit read. Clues are cunningly laid in place from the opening pages. Suspects and false leads abound. Sansom plays fair but constructs his puzzle so craftily that only an exceptionally acute reader will solve this case before Shardlake does’
Peter Kemp, Sunday Times, Culture

‘Sansom’s absorbing, substantial novels transcend the limitations of crime fiction while conforming to its conventions’
Sunday Telegraph
 
‘The fourth in C. J. Sansom’s superb Tudor detective series . . . As with the previous books, Sansom’s narrative is highly visual and Revelation will clearly make a white-knuckle film. Shardlake has been dubbed ‘the Tudor Morse’; like Morse, he is solitary, cerebral, occasionally flawed and driven by a belief in an ideal of justice that stands above the petty rivalries of his profession . . . The other great appeal of these books, apart from the cast of regular characters, is the richness of Sansom’s historical research. He leads us through sixteenth-century London as confidently as if he lived there himself. Revelation is very skilfully structured – not an incident is wasted – and once the killer’s intentions become clear, don’t expect to put the book down until you’ve seen it through to the apocalyptic finale’
Observer

‘The fourth in a series of historical thrillers that are to Ellis Peters what P. D. James is to Agatha Christie. Sansom’s deft sense of dramatic timing takes us effortlessly through this fat, juicy book. For a while we jog along, building up connections, clues, suspense, and then wham, bang we’re off at a skimble-scamble gallop. His skill lies not only in plotting and the creation of rounded and memorable characters, but in magicking up a richly textured backdrop . . . The best Shardlake yet’
The Times

‘The murder mystery is enthralling, but Sansom is intent on the bigger picture. The book has the compulsive quality of a fast-moving narrative, but takes the reader deep into a world where torture and death are not merely endemic but fantastically envisaged at every turn . . . a masterly evocation’
Independent

‘This ambitious panorama of a book, the fourth in Sansom’s series set in not-so-merrie Tudor England, more than lives up to the promise of the previous three . . . With wonderful scene-setting . . . plus some deft plotting,Revelation is an absorbing and thought-provoking window on the Tudor world’
Laura Wilson, Guardian

‘The plot of Revelation is a crime-fiction classic . . . The serial killer turns out to be the perfect vehicle for all Sansom’s favourite themes and undeniable strengths as a historical novelist’
Times Literary Supplement
 

‘One of the joys of the Shardlake books is the depth of characterization and the vivid recreation of England at a time when the government was positively autocratic. The historical detail is precise . . . but never obtrusive. Sansom’s cunning combination of history and crime fiction is utterly compelling. Revelation – running to almost 600 pages – isn’t a word too long’
Daily Express

Preview

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Synopsis

Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy who has. . . 

. . . been placed in the Bedlam insane asylum, and fears that the boy’s terrifying religious mania could lead to him being burned as a heretic.

When an old friend is horrifically murdered, Shardlake promises his widow that he will bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to Cranmer and Catherine Parr – and to the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

As London’s Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants, Shardlake, together with Jack Barak and his physician friend, Guy Malton, investigates a series of horrific murders which soon bring talk of witchcraft and demonic possession – for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial
killer . . . ?

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