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Revelation by C. J. Sansom

Revelation (2008)

by C. J. Sansom

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Matthew Shardlake (4)

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1,544527,217 (4.13)164



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» See also 164 mentions

English (50)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
First of all, I would like to say that this is a wonderful series and the more you read, the more you want more! They take place during the Tudor era. This plot revolved around a serial killer who kills according to the prophecies in Revelations from the Bible. Sansom is an excellent writer and his books are all serious page-turners. His research gives the books great historical detail. The characters come to life and are very believable. You do need to start with book one, Dissolution, and read these books in order. I would highly recommend them to those who like historical mysteries that are well-written. ( )
  EadieB | Oct 31, 2018 |
This is the fourth book in the Mathew Shardlake Mysteries and the one that I enjoyed the least. First of all the positives: the depiction of mid sixteenth century London during the reign of Henry VIII is colourful and exciting, the dirt, the grime, the stench are ever present as Sansom concentrates more on the poorer quarters of London than on the Palaces of the courtiers. He also captures the feeling of a city struggling with religious persecution, where speaking out of turn can lead to serious trouble and where a hardening of views on both sides of the catholic/protestant divide lead to confrontation. Sansom imagines vividly the sanctuary around the dilapidated Westminster cathedral and Bedlam the first of the hospitals for the mentally ill. His characters both historical and imaginary are well drawn, but in this story they have too much of a modern feel to them, especially the character of Mathew Shardlake and his friend Dr Guy Malton. Shardlake’s detective work and Dr Maltons clinical practices seem to me to be quite a few steps ahead of the period in which the story is based. However this did not spoil the story for me, but the plotting and storytelling did.

Shardlake and friends find themselves on the trail of a serial killer; a serial killer who is driven by a fanatical reading of the bible, which drives him to kill in ever more inventive ways to carry out his mission, which is to bring about the apocalypse. Shardlake works out that there are severn murders that will be committed in accordance with a section from the Book of Revelations; it is a race to stop the killer before he can complete the murders each one seemingly more gruesome than the last……………………….. stop me if you have heard this one before. It is a plot that Dan Brown might have written, in fact it is so bad, perhaps he did write it.

Sansom is adept at shoehorning his stories to fit with the historical facts and he does this here, but in my view he should not have bothered. A disappointing three stars. ( )
1 vote baswood | Oct 27, 2018 |
Historical fiction is my guilty pleasure - this one does not disappoint. ( )
  AriadneAranea | Jan 13, 2018 |
This Shardlake centres on religious mania, apocalyptic expectations, and the affect on people of new interpretations of sin from radical Protestants. It’s a picture of ‘culture wars’ with a real sense of society unravelling. If he’d written it this year, and not ten years ago, I’d accuse him of being topical: I felt the reverberations, and to me that means he lifts this a novel you might find of relevance whenever you live.

His cast: Matthew Shardlake, lawyer, who gets jeered at as ‘crookback’ on the street; his doctor friend of Spanish Muslim family past, now Catholic (who gets called ‘the old Moor’ etc.); Jack Barak his lower class employee/friend of Jewish background. Even when Barak, in this one, is being abysmal at the job of new husband, these are an interesting, realistic, likeable lot and I was reading for the characters as much as anything.

This series is justly famous for its depiction of place, its realism of setting (3rd time I’ve used ‘real’). I found it just right, not too much detail nor too litte, and smoothly written. ( )
  Jakujin | Oct 17, 2017 |
The style, the characters, the history, the plot, the tension and the detection were perfect. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Feb 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sansom, C. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The high chandeliers in the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn were ablaze with candles, for it was late afternoon when the play began.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Matthew Shardlake on
the trail of a fanatic
serial killer.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330447106, Paperback)

trade paperback, vg+

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.… (more)

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