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Revelation (2008)

by C. J. Sansom

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Matthew Shardlake (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,762587,397 (4.16)170
Matthew Shardlake has his hands full this time defending a young religious fanatic who has been thrown into Bedlam. On top of that, Shardlake's friend is murdered, and the quest to find the killer leads Shardlake right to the steps of the king's latest romantic conquest, Catherine Parr.
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» See also 170 mentions

English (56)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
One of the best in the series. ( )
  lynnbyrdcpa | Dec 7, 2020 |
A Tudor-period serial killer story. This was excellent, with a compelling plot and good character development. ( )
  pgchuis | Oct 30, 2020 |
The year is 1543 and the hunchbacked lawyer and amateur detective, Matthew Shardlake, has sworn not to involve himself in any more affairs of state. But his quiet working life is shattered when his old friend Roger Elliard is found with his throat cut in Lincoln's Inn fountain. When the king's coroner seems to be covering up the murder, Shardlake finds himself trying to find the killer and to master his own affection for the widow.

What Shardlake begins to uncover is more horrifying than anything he and his young assistant Jack Barak have ever experienced. There have been multiple killings in previous books, but this is the first time Shardlake has found himself on the trail of a serial killer, one who treats killing as an art form and takes as much pleasure in teasing his pursuers as in the murders themselves. Shardlake shows his own brand of moral courage, facing down insults about his hunched back as well as physical danger.

Sansom has done extensive historical research and leads the reader through 16th-century London as if he lived there himself. Revelation takes a little time to get its main plot moving but it is very skilfully structured and once the killer's intentions become clear, don't expect to put the book down until you've seen it through to the finale.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
I’m sorry if I’m beginning to sound like a cracked record, but I continue to love the Matthew Shardlake Tudor detective series by CJ Sansom. Fourth in the series, ‘Revelation’, is a roller-coaster ride of killings motivated by the Book of Revelation’s fire and damnation. Shardlake and his assistant Barak race around London struggling to second-guess the murderer’s motivations and identify his next likely target.
Sansom achieves a difficult feat for a historical novelist, he balances world-building – the Tudor toxic politics and Tudor gossip-mongering – will Lady Catherine Parr say yes to the King’s proposal – with Shardlake’s legal world and the fascinating detail and colour which brings London in Spring 1543 to life. Once again we see Shardlake’s vulnerability – when an old friend is murdered in mystifying and frightening circumstances – and his moral strength as he faces the dangers of investigation. These dangers do not threaten only his life but of those around him; they also threaten his position and future, as he is drawn unwillingly again into the circle of the Tudor court where queens, and courtiers, often last only a short time. These are the only historical novels I have read which are truly page-turners in its meaning of ‘one more chapter before I turn out the light’.
Set at a time of radical religious reform, when saying the wrong thing may find you shamed, hanged or burned, Matthew is working on the case of a teenage boy sent to Bedlam hospital. Is he mad, or possessed by the devil? Is he safer in Bedlam or with his parents where he might escape and be burned as a heretic. When Matthew’s friend is found dead in bizarre circumstances he is charged with solving the crime by Archbishop Cranmer. Guy of Malton, former apothecary monk from ‘Dissolution’, the first book in the series, is now a doctor and has a theory that excludes God and religion. Could a serial killer be at loose?
If you want to lose yourself in book, to travel to another world and time, then try this series. I am already anticipating the loss when I have read the last book. But the Shardlake books have so much detail and depth with recurring characters who become familiar, I know I will be re-reading them soon.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | May 11, 2020 |
It is the end of winter in 1543 and Henry is wooing Catherine Parr with the intention of making her his sixth wife. This is not popular with Archbishop Cramer as Parr is known to have sympathies to the reformist agenda.
Shardlake has agrees to take on the case of a lad who has been diagnosed as mad and who is in the asylum called Bedlam. People are starting to think that his mania will get him sentenced as a heretic.

On returning home later one evening he discovers a body in the fountain, this is his good friend Roger, and his throat has been cut. Shardlake pledges to Dorothy that he will find Roger's killer and bring him to justice. His initial investigation and the coroners inquiry raise suspicions within him that there is a lot more to the murder that he is being told, and he challenges the coroner after the hearing. He is summoned to Archbishop Cramer's office and is told that this is not the first murder that they have suppressed the details of as there is a suspicion that this will threaten Catherine Parr. Heving successfully avoided the political scheming recently, he is now right back in the middle of it.

So Shardlake begins his investigation, and as he does, he realises that these grisly murders are linked, and have a pattern that brings a chill to his heart. The race is on to find this murderer, before he kills again, but he is always one step ahead and is following Shardlake and his assistant Barak.

Sansom has done it again with this book. Not only do you have dramatic tension as they struggle to find a very clever killer, who knows so much about them, but there are political intrigues, personal conflicts and layers of stories in here. Nicely paced too, with an excellent climax as the events unfold at the end. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sansom, C. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knut JohansenTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Matthew Shardlake has his hands full this time defending a young religious fanatic who has been thrown into Bedlam. On top of that, Shardlake's friend is murdered, and the quest to find the killer leads Shardlake right to the steps of the king's latest romantic conquest, Catherine Parr.

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Matthew Shardlake on
the trail of a fanatic
serial killer.
(passion4reading)

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Average: (4.16)
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