Dark Fire

Dark Fire It is and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty one years when Matthew Shardlake the lawyer renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England is pressed to help a friend s you

It is 1540, and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty one years when Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England, is pressed to help a friend s young niece who is charged with murder Despite threats of torture and death by the rack, the girl is inexplicably silent Shardlake is about to lose her case w It is 1540, and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty one years when Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England, is pressed to help a friend s young niece who is charged with murder Despite threats of torture and death by the rack, the girl is inexplicably silent Shardlake is about to lose her case when he is suddenly granted a reprieve one that will ensnare him again in the dangerous schemes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII s feared vicar general In exchange for two weeks to investigate the murder, Shardlake accepts Cromwell s assignment to find a lost cache of Dark Fire, an ancient weapon of mass destruction Cromwell, out of favor since Henry s disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves, is relying on Shardlake s discovery to save his position at court, which is rife with conspiracy

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Dark Fire

  1. Christopher John C.J Sansom is an English writer of crime novels He was born in 1952 and 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 He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full time as a writer.He came to prominence with his series set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century, whose main character is the hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake Shardlake works on commission initially from Thomas Cromwell in Dissolution and Dark Fire and then Thomas Cranmer in Sovereign and Revelation.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 C J Sansom has been consulted on the series, which is in the final stages of negotiation citation needed.He has also written Winter in Madrid, a thriller set in Spain in 1940 in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.Dark Fire won the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded by the Crime Writers Association CWA Sansom himself was Very Highly Commended in the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library award, for the Shardlake series from

953 Reply to “Dark Fire”

  1. There were four or five illustrated manuscripts written by old monastic writers, giving vivid descriptions of the use of Greek Fire Sometimes they called it Flying Fire, sometimes the devil s tears, fire from the dragon s mouth, Dark Fire I puzzled over that last name How could fire be dark An odd image came into my head of black flames rising from black coals It was absurd A Byzantine ship uses Greek fire against a ship of the rebel, Thomas the Slav, 821 12th century illustration from the Madri [...]

  2. I m really starting to warm to Matthew Shardlake He s a great character, and a perfect investigator he is compassionate and clever he is brave and realistic in his approach to his ginormous tasks He is really aware of himself and those around him He s a hunchback he s an outcast and a figure for ridicule But, he doesn t let it get the best of him Sometimes his rage at the narrow minded injustice he is subjected to is ready to spill over, though he controls it He uses his scholar like mind to ris [...]

  3. Another case for Matthew Shardlakewhen an ageing and increasingly gout ridden Henry VIII is between Anne of Cleeves and Katherine Howard, wives 4 and 5, Thomas Cromwell once calls upon Shardlake to solve a case.In paranoid times, England has no allies in Europe where once reformist fervour swept the nation, and not so long ago, the tides have turned and against Lord Cromwell Political chaos is the order of the day where intrigue and plots abound and where no one can be trusted.CJ Sansom really [...]

  4. Another excellent read in this fantastic series I thought I was getting a bit bored with historical fiction but there was nothing boring about Dark Fire Matthew Shardlake is such an interesting main character and he manages to gain a new assistant in this book who suits him admirably Not one but two mysteries running parallel kept the pace of the story going and I found the historical detail to be just right not too little or too much Now to find the time to read the next one I do love a good se [...]

  5. I loved this sequel even than the first book in the series The author s credentials as a lawyer with a PhD in history are evident in the complex, finely written story that he creates around Tudor era lawyer, Matthew Shardlake.There is really no part of this book that I can disparage The characters are multifaceted and realistic I adore Matthew he is clever and righteous but also insecure and modest In this novel he is paired up perfectly with Jack Barak, who is young, courageous, and loyal The [...]

  6. Continual suspenseMatthew Shardlake has put the nerve wracking episode of his investigations at Scarnsea Monastery behind him and is living the relatively quiet life of a London lawyer of the Tudor era Suddenly, his peace is shattered He is asked to defend a young lady who is accused of murdering her cousin, but refuses to speak to anyone, even Shardlake A difficult task, and even stressful because failing to plea when brought to court in those days resulted in a slow and agonising death by pre [...]

  7. I jo jedan odli an Sansomov roman Moji su omiljeni anrovi povijesni i trileri, a ovaj autor ih genijalno spaja Radnja se doga a u Engeskoj u doba Henrika VIII kada Mathew Shardlake, odvjetnik, rje ava interesantne slu ajeve kroz koje, uz u ivanje u napetoj radnji, u ivamo i u temeljitim opisima na ina ivota, obi aja, politike i nekih povijesnih li nosti spomenutog razdoblja S u itkom kre em na sljede i roman ovog autora

  8. Pretty reasonable Tudor detective thriller better than the first in the series in my opinion Sansom is a historian and lawyer who has obviously combined his two passions This one is set in the summer of 1540 at the time of the fall of Cromwell Shardlake, the hero detective is an honest lawyer there s an oxymoron if ever there was one and is a likeable character There is none of the mean moodiness and complex personal life here Shardlake is a 40 year old hunchback who is unmarried He does however [...]

  9. 3.5 stars Solid sequel to the excellent Dissolution by C J Sansom Not as enjoyable as the first book which is probably because having visited the world of Matthew Shardlake before, it wasn t quite as fresh or new as it was before In addition, the mysteries involved in this installment were less compelling That said, it was still a very good read and I will certainly be reading the next book in the series Recommend.

  10. It s been a hell of a long time since I read Dissolution A good year and a half I was weary about picking up this book after so long and I kept putting it off However I m pleased to say that I jumped straight back into this world as if it had been weeks not over a year I think that should show you that Sansom s writing is something special I could remember the plot of the first one quite vividly, couple that with the fact this one is set a few years after the events of the first book and there w [...]

  11. I enjoyed reading this, and I ll continue with the series Sansom is a good writer and his characterization is excellent I like Shardlake and his new sidekick Barak very much The setting felt authentic and the author manages to include a lot of historical details without disrupting the narrative But despite these excellent qualities I m knocking it down to 3 stars because of a few serious flaws.Both of the mysteries in this book are weak The first involves a girl accused of murder, and the reader [...]

  12. This is the second Shardlake novel, following on from Dissolution Shardlake finds himself embroiled in a complicated case, when a young girl called Elizabeth Wentworth is arrested for murder Her family, apart from her Uncle Joseph, all believe her guilty of the crime killing her cousin Ralph, the only son of her Uncle Edwin, whose London house she was living in However, Elizabeth refuses to plead, which means she faces the Press which was as bad as it sounds and has been thrown into the Hole as [...]

  13. Dark Fire, the second in the historical mystery series which has the hunchback lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, as the central character, is a triumph for its excellent author,C.J Sansom This Tudor mystery is set in London in 1540 It is a time of change, when the great monastic establishments are being disbanded by order of Henry 8th and land is changing hands rapidly Henry is married for the fourth time, his latest wife being Anne of Cleves, but he is completely dissatisfied with her He lays the blam [...]

  14. This book was ok as far as historical mysteries are concerned It got pretty confusing and convoluted, there were characters and suspects than necessary And in the end, the bad guys end up being the people you dislike all along Still, it was fun to read about England in the 16th century I learned all kinds of things that were pretty interesting Like the fact that some women used nightshade a poison to make their pupils wider because it was supposed to be sexy The book takes place about 10 years [...]

  15. The second book in the Shardlake series was as good as the first In this the story starts with him being asked to represent a girl accused of the murder of her cousin She is refusing to speak, and the initial court case almost results with her being pressed, a horrible process of being squashed under weights, as she has refused to speak All looks desperate, but she gets a two week reprieve from the judge.The reprieve is from Cromwell, and Shardlake is summonsed to his presence Cromwell is trying [...]

  16. C.J Sansom is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Matthew Shardlake one of my favorite characters Lawyer Shardlake would prefer a quiet life but somehow he keeps finding himself in the midst of political intrigue Thomas Cromwell, once again, forces my favorite hunchback to investigate a mythical weapon known as Greek Fire I thought this sounded far fetched until I did an internet search and discovered that Greek Fire Dark Fire is thought to have existed.Sansom always doses his books [...]

  17. I wasn t that enamoured of this, second Shardlake book I liked the fact that Sansom took us in a very different direction and allowed us to see Shardlake at home in London rather than in the confined claustrophobic abbey of Scarnsea Unfortunately I didn t find his London convincing Perhaps I have been spoiled by Dickens and Sarah Waters so that I was expecting to see, feel and experience the filth and squalor of Tudor England and, in fairness to Sansom, he mentions it But I didn t feel he manage [...]

  18. A wonderful, wonderful, wonderful historical fiction mystery Not quite as good as the first book in the series, Dissolution, only because this book is considerably longer and had a few subplots that were not quite a interesting The main mystery was awesome and I loved the discussion of greek fire I am very glad I found this series.

  19. This novel begins in a hot summer in 16th century London, and we are wonderfully immersed in the sensations of the city.Against the ubiquitous heat, you get a fantastic impression of time and place The dissolution of the monasteriese dust and noise of buildings being pulled down, or re deployed Displaced monks having to re invent themselves in other jobs and lifestyles You also get a great sense of the fervid political shenanigans of the time, both at home and abroad, as Henry VIII shifts from w [...]

  20. This is the second book of the Mathew Shardlake series Lush writing, rich descriptions and interesting plots make this book an amazing experience of travelling to London in 1540 Cromwell needs some work done and he calls on his old aide, Mathew Shardlake and sends an assistant to help him In return, he provides extra time to one of Shardlake s clients, accused of murder and facing a horrible death The unlikely duo travel around London trying to solve two problems at the same time The two plots a [...]

  21. This was recommended to me by someone who knew my taste for history and mystery It could hardly have been perfect.Essentially a Tudor detective novel, the main character of Shardlake is a humble lawyer who finds himself entangled in a plot which could impact upon the whole of Europe But this summary is so facile that I am tempted to delete it because it makes the book s contents sound trite Sansom is the kind of author which makes you weep that neither you nor those you speak to have heard of h [...]

  22. The second in the Matthew Shardlake series, this is another triumph of writing and plotting Somewhat recovered from his ordeal at the monastery from Book 1, Matthew once again gets embroiled in the politics of the realm when Cromwell sets him the task of discovering whether dark fire the legendary secret weapon of the ancient world has come to London view spoiler This book sees the introduction of Jack Barak, who Shardlake initially sees as a violent, threatening ruffian foisted on him by Cromwe [...]

  23. If you want the conclusions of this book to be a surprise, you d be best not knowing anything about British history Several things are obvious from the start if you are For that reason, in one way it s not as strong as Dissolution on the other hand, weaving the plot into the political climate does make for interesting reading I am finding these books kind of addictive they have their flaws, but Matthew is a character you can root for and so was Barak, as the story went on There are some recurrin [...]

  24. As a lifelong history buff and fan of crime fiction my discovery of the historical detective genre was something of a delight, and C J Sansom ranks alongside Steven Saylor as one of my favourite writers in the field All the books in this series are excellent but this second outing for lawyer turned occasional detective Matthew Shardlake is my personal favourite Intrigue, murder and alchemical science abound as Shardlake is compelled by an increasingly desperate Thomas Cromwell to seek out the an [...]

  25. Another fun read from C.J Sansom There s something about this series that captures my imagination The two books of the series I have read so far have been lacking in vim and vigour hence the 4 stars not 5 , but I still enjoy them immensely as the author is very talented at presenting so vividly, a 16th century London to sink into It is a time of Henry the 8th, Cromwell and the Dissolution and it makes a colourful background to the main characters crime solving adventures.

  26. Somehow this second Shardlake novel, about a weapon of mass destruction in a medieval context, did not capture and hold my attention as the first in the series did However, Mr Sansom writes well, and I ll continue reading the Shardlake series.

  27. C J Sansom Crna vatraLjeto 1540 godine ostat e upam eno kao jedno od najtoplijih u esnaestom vijeku Pro lo je osam godina otkako je kralj Henri VIII raskinuo sve veze s Rimom proglasiv i se poglavarom Crkve, to je sa sobom donijelo ukidanje obreda na latinskom jeziku, raspu tanje manastira i tampanje Biblije na engleskom jeziku Nezadovoljan brakom sa Anom Klevskom, pedesetogodi nji kralj za sve krivi svog glavnog savjetnika, lorda Tomasa Kromvela Dok kraljevstvu prijeti invazija Francuske i pani [...]

  28. Ik geef het toe boek volledig beoordeeld op de prachtige cover, maar ik heb het me niet beklaagd Ik ga zeker de rest van de reeks ook lezen

  29. I ve reviewed C.J Samson books this year than any other author Just got into the guy and couldn t stop From Heartstone to Winter in Madrid to Sovereign, he kept me going Now it s Dark Fire Chronologically it s the first in the series of Shardlake, the humpbacked lawyer and his investigations into matters surrounding the affairs of the time and environs of Henry VIII Winter in Madrid is a Spanish Civil War tale, and a different matter entirely I sort of wish I d read the Shardlake tales in order [...]

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