Author C.J. Sansom takes us back to 16th Century England where Henry VIII is king and change is brewing. In mid-evil times change often brings death to both the players and the pawns. In Dark Fire we are introduced to Matthew Shardlake who is “renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England.” Mr. Shardlake is in fact a lawyer who practices property law, but takes on what seems to be a hopeless case when a friend’s niece is arrested for a terrible murder. Things look hopeless until he is offered a way to have her case or rather her sentence delayed for two weeks…for a price.
In Dark Fire , Author C. J. Sansom gives Shardlake a deal with the devil or in this case England’s Oliver Cromwell. Expected to deliver on Cromwell’s demands Shardlake has to balance trying to save a young lady’s life while keeping his own out of a noose or worse. His investigation forces him to cross paths with some old “friends” who aren’t really joyful to see him. Some of whom are rather dangerous.
This is the second Shardlake novel that I have read. I seem to be reading them out of order which I don’t really prefer, but I haven’t found this to be a detriment. This is an interesting thriller and the pace is somewhat slower much as the time it takes for one to get around in that time period. If you are used the current pace of detective novels where folks rip around quite rapidly and have traffic cams to watch criminals this is NOT that.