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Heartstone by C. J. Sansom
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Heartstone (original 2010; edition 2011)

by C. J. Sansom

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956499,086 (4.15)132
Member:AHS-Wolfy
Title:Heartstone
Authors:C. J. Sansom
Info:Pan (2011), Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Historical Fiction, Mystery, Shardlake, 1515CC

Work details

Heartstone by C. J. Sansom (2010)

  1. 50
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (bookfitz)
    bookfitz: While not a mystery, "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel is another great novel set in Tudor England.
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» See also 132 mentions

English (48)  French (1)  All (49)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
If I could I'd give this another half star as I think it is slightly better than three stars but not a four star read.

While it was an enjoyable and for its size a quick read I didn't enjoy this as much as previous Shardlake stories.

For me I think the book would have worked better if the author had given Shardlake one case instead of two. Either of the two cases that he investigates in this book would I feel have made a good story in their own right. I'm sure that if investigated properly either the real reasons for Ellen being in Bedlam or the issue of Hugh and Emma's wardship would have thrown up enough corruption and conspiracy to keep Shardlake and Barak busy for a whole book.

I also wasn't impressed with the so called twist, a friend had read this and said it was a really good twist but when I got to it all I thought was that's been done to death. If you must have a twist in your story then please make it one that we haven't seen a million times before. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
I've enjoyed all the Shardlake series of books so far. This was a bit of a let down, rather slow and overlong. The second half of the book was better than the first. ( )
  stevebishop | Apr 2, 2016 |
The Shardlake series always delivers reliably. They evoke the Tudor era well and always manage to bring something of the history to life. This time, Henry VIII is still on the throne with his wife Catherine Parr at his side. The French are threatening to invade and Henry is raising an army and gathering the Fleet at Portsmouth in preparation. This, of course, includes the Mary Rose!

Shardlake has been engaged by the Queen to act on behalf of an old servant and his investigations also lead him to Portsmouth where he witnesses what takes place. Of course, there are various crimes and murders along the way, but it is the Mary Rose that raises this book from being 'just another Shardlake' and prevents it from being too 'samey'.

The author was inspired by the various artifacts found on the wreck of the Mary Rose and it is this that holds the story together. He weaves a story to fit with what the historians and archaeologists have pieced together from what has been found. I think I now need to go to Portsmouth to see these things for myself.
( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
I think, although my memory is not that precise, given I have been reading this series over about eight years, that this is the best Shardlake book yet ( I cannot wait to see Branagh as Shardlake). As ever our hero has to be persistent to get at the truth, which emerges gradually, but very logically, from a mountain in of detail about the latter days of Henry VIII, this time during the almost invasion by France. I was at the wonderful Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth last year and Sansom's writing brought that wonderful display to life. I really cannot fault this book, or this series, or this writer (read the wonderful non-series books). ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Went straight from Revelation onto this one and will do the same with Lamentation. Matthew is called by Queen Catherine to work on a case in the Court of Wards which results in him being near Portsmouth and the threat of the French invasion. Side story of a fascinating look at the life of conscripted men ending up on great ships like the Mary Rose. ( )
  aine.fin | Nov 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
"Sansom brilliantly exploits the hindsight that we bring to the historical novel, for we turn the pages with bated breath, waiting for the inevitable, wondering who will survive."
 
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The Churchyard was peaceful in the summer afternoon.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Catherine Parr requests
That Shardlake investigates
Case in Hampshire.
(passion4reading)
Another war with
France? Flagship Mary Rose sinks
With all hands in port.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002239X, Hardcover)

The #1 international bestselling author brings us his fifth Shardlake novel.

Summer, 1545. England is at war, and Matthew Shardlake is about to encounter the most politically dangerous case of his career. While a massive French fleet prepares to attack, every able-bodied man is being pressed into military service. Meanwhile, an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr asks Shardlake to investigate claims of "monstrous wrongs" committed against a young ward of the court. Shardlake's inquiries take him and his loyal assistant, Jack Barak, to Hoyland Priory and Portsmouth, where the English fleet is gathering. There they uncover a startling link between the ward and a woman incarcerated in Bedlam. With a fantastic backdrop of wartime intrigue and a dramatic finale onboard one of Henry VIII's great warships, Heartstone is certain to catapult this internationally bestselling series to greater prominence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:32 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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