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Revelation (Matthew Shardlake #4)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  10,081 ratings  ·  552 reviews
Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy who has been placed in the Bedlam insane asylum, before his terrify
Paperback, 629 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Pan Books (first published April 2nd 2008)
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The fourth installment in this excellent series and it is easily worth five stars. One of the best things about these books is the delightful way the author discusses all the details of the lifestyle of Tudor England. I have always found this a fascinating period of history and C.J. Sansom knows how to make the most of it. In this book Matthew Shardlake our daring, hunchback, lawyer/detective is working for Archbishop Cranmer and HenryVIII is preparing to marry Catherine Parr. Life becomes very ...more
This is the fourth novel in the series featuring lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, and his assistant Jack Barak. This is one of the darkest, most unsettling books in the series, involving Shardlake and Barak in the hunt for a Tudor serial killer, who has an obsession with the book of Revelations and a client who is declared insane and sent to the Bedlam.

King Henry is planning to take another wife and is busy trying to convince Catherine Parr to marry him. Speaking of matrimony, Barak’s marriage to Tama

I really enjoy this series of mystery novels set in the reign of Henry VIII. The author has a gift for weaving the historical backstory into the mystery and generating a very evocative atmosphere of London in the 16th century. Through the characters and other story lines running through the novel, many pictures of daily life emerge including the practice of Medicine at the time, the workings of the sewerage system, construction of false teeth and of course the upheaval in religion and the chucrc
With this installment in the Matthew Shardlake series, I think I can safely say that CJ Sansom has taken his place as my second favorite modern author (Sharon Kay Penman being my favorite). I have given this book some time to swirl around in my mind since I finished it, and I'm still not sure that I can do it justice.

Nobody brings Tudor England to life the way Sansom does. The sights, smells, is easy for the reader to imagine that they are walking along next to dear Matthew as he wa
In his fourth outing, hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake is up against a gruesome serial killer intent on bringing forth the prophecies of Revelation through a series of Biblical-inspired killings. Called in to attend to the bizarre case of a young boy imprisoned for madness and suspected of suffering from demonic possession, when Shardlake discovers the slain body of his best friend in a frozen fountain, he is once again caught between the machinations of the Tudor court, where Henry VIII has s ...more
In this installment, it is the year 1543 and Matthew Shardlake, the hunchback lawyer, has been promoted to Serjeant in the Court of Requests by Archbishop Cranmer. Cranmer owes Shardlake big-time after the events of the last book and Matthew is quite happy with his life and his work. Unfortunately, Matthew's peaceful existance is interrupted when his dear friend, Roger Elliard, is murdered in a most horrific and public way. Matthew vows to bring the killer to justice but there is much more to th ...more
REVELATION (Hist. Mys-Matthew Shardlake-England-1500s-Middle-Ages) – Ex
Sansom, C.J. – 4th in series
Macmillan, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9781405092722

First Sentence: The high chandeliers in the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn were ablaze with candles, for it was late afternoon when the play began.

Henry VIII has asked to marry Catherine Parr and England is in a time of religious turmoil.

The Dissolution of the monasteries is done but now Henry, and the reformists, are moving back toward Catholic ways
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
I may consistently give these C.J. Sansom books 4 out of 5 stars (with the exception of the third in the series, Sovereign, which I gave 5 stars to), but I do thoroughly enjoy them.
For me they are the perfect holiday read, or windy wet weather read. Sit in a corner with a cup of tea, curl up under a thick quilt in bed, lock yourself away or escape every evening to its pages.

C.J Sansom recreates the Tudor world with an ease that all historical fiction authors should aspire to. The stories are no
Yet another Tudor mystery from the best of the best.

After Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and made himself head of the Church of England, he just couldn’t make his mind up. Definitely Protestant.....maybe a wee bit less Protestant...... maybe a bit more Catholic. As he swung back and forth people rose and fell from favour, some losing their heads in the process. It was a time when your religious affiliations could carry heavy penalties. In this hothouse world of shifting religious dog
Gerald Sinstadt
As a confirmed Sansom addict, I now believe that the four Shardlake novels show an admirable progression. Revelation crowns a notable achievement.

In Dissolution, the claustrophobic limitations of the community at Scarnsea and the largely indistinguishable monks were the down side. The pluses were originality of scene and the personality of the hunchback lawyer himself.

Evidence of the author's feel for place and period led one hopefully to Dark Fire, and in the matter of authentic atmosphere on
John Wiltshire
So, we are now up to Catherine Parr. Lady Latimer is being pursued by Henry after he's successfully managed to kill off his latest young wife, Catherine Howard. Matthew, yet again, is going to be dragged into these great events. But as with the other novels of this superb series, Matthew is also involved in a more human mystery--in this novel that of a young boy who inexplicably begins to rant and rave about salvation and has been locked away in bedlam for his own protection (it's dangerous to s ...more

Another winning Matthew Shardlake mystery.C.J. Sansom's writing lets you see and smell London circa 1543. Add a serial killer who uses The Book of Revelations as a How To guide and you have a winning mystery. My favorite " crookback" was a little snippier this time around- which just made him that much more adorable :)
Jul 14, 2013 Iset rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love historical crime mysteries

I feel like I’ve stumbled on a real treasure with C J Sansom’s Shardlake series. Revelation was absolutely delightful. It engaged my attention straight away and held it gripped from the very first page to the last! This is classic mystery-unravelling and crime writing in the tradition of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edith Pargeter. Every single scene advances the plot, there’s no unnecessary fluff, the story is well-constructed and thoughtful. Moreover, Sansom’s writing is subtle, in
Martin Belcher
It's Spring 1543 and in London an increasingly disabled and despotic King Henry VIII is trying his best to gain the hand of marriage from Lady Catherine Parr. Religious fervour and fanaticism continues to effect everyone's lives in Tudor England. We welcome back our enigmatic hunchback lawyer, Matthew Shardlake and his very able assistant Jack Barak for the fourth book in C.J.Sansom's excellent Shardlake series.

In Revelation, Shardlake takes up the case of a young man called Adam Kite who has b
The Matthew Shardlake series is excellent, well-written historical mysteries. Revelation was no exception. The story is set in 1543, Henry VIII trying to get Catherine Parr's hand in marriage as his 6th wife and Shardlake and his assistant Barak, on the hunt of a fanatic trying to act out the punishments outlined the Revelation. As well, he must try and keep a young man, who has been sent to the insane asylum, Bedlam, from being burned at the stake as a heretic. Compounding his situation, London ...more
A very nice read. It's long and rambling, but I enjoyed the setting so much that I didn't mind the slow pace. The author is still not at his best with action scenes, but there aren't many in this book so it doesn't distract. The inclusion of famous historical characters (Catherine Parr, Thomas Cranmer and the Seymours) seemed more natural than in previous books.

The story features a serial killer and the killings are very gruesome and disturbing, more so than you find in a typical murder mystery.
Ruth Downie
Settling in with a new Shardlake novel is like meeting an old and much-loved friend. This one is a take on the 'serial killer' genre but with a Tudor twist, which allows the author to explore the religious in-fighting of the time while recreating the filth, poverty and sheer terror of a London ruled by an increasingly repulsive and dangerous Henry VIII. I've only given it 4 stars because I can't give everything 5 stars, which isn't a very good reason really. Superb.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Book four in my favorite historical mystery series.

For a further review: .
Two issues still trouble me about this otherwise excellent series. First, there is entirely too much running around. In Dissolution all the running around was on the grounds of a smallish monastery. In Black Fire we run hyper actively around London. Books three and four are calmer, but the tendency is still there.

Secondly, I don't find Shardlake a compelling protagonist. Sansom narrates his adventures with action that sits still on the page. Yes, he's never going to be an action hero, but even
In Revelation, we return to London in the spring of 1543. King Henry is now trying to persuade Lady Catherine Parr to be his sixth wife, following the execution of Catherine Howard. There is religious unrest in the capital city, with arrests being made, people disappearing without warning. Matthew Shardlake has returned to his profession in law, along with Jack Barak, his assistant. It is against this unsettled background that a series of grisly murders are committed and Shardlake and Barak are ...more
Alison Looney
As with Dissolution, the other book from this series that I've read, the history in this story is much stronger than the mystery. Sansom presents characters representing the diversity of religious though in mid sixteenth century England. They interact in believable, thought provoking conversations and are tested in various ways by each turn of events. The 1540s were a stressful time in England - the Catholic Church was dissolved, but the tide was turning against the Lutheran reformers. Basically ...more
The best thing about this book is the pacy writing, the wealth of historical detail and the picture of the politics and social unrest of this period towards the end of Henry VIII's reign. The worst thing is that it appears to be the last of the four volumes dealing with Henry's reign and times, and the lawyer Matthew Shardlake who, despite desiring an ordinary and safe existence is constantly swept into the heart of political intrigues, investigations of murder and matters of high state that exp ...more
I feel like having to explain why I rated this book 3 stars instead of 4-5 which I gave the rest in the Shardlake series.

This book is VERY GOOD actually, but it is my least favourite of the series. Why? Maybe because it strayed from the original 'recipe', although that could be construed as a plus. Introducing a 'serial killer' in Tudor England - well, that's ambitious! Cue even the brilliant mind of Matthew Shardlake having trouble working it all out! My problems with this book were: 1. at one
For CJ Samson fans like myself who eagerly await his books I was disappointed by Revelation. The main protagonist, Matthew Shardlake the crook back lawyer remains the same, and other familar characters (Guy the former Monk, Jack Barak and Tamasin)are all developed. However, I felt Revelation lacked the level of suspense of Dissolution, Dark Fire and Sovereign. It was gripping but not as gripping as Sansom's previous works.

Shardlake is brought back into political intrigue again against his incli
Revelation is an excellent addition to the series, with an involving mystery that is -- once again, despite Shardlake's distaste for it -- linked to the politics of the day. Of course it begins to seem a little bit ridiculous that such a man could be involved with so many rich and powerful men (and women) of his time, but if you've read this far, it's obvious that it can only escalate.

I found Guy's subplot to be quite touching, and well-handled. That of Barak and Tamasin, too. I can only hope th
This has been, so far, the book I've liked the least in the series. In general I don't like serial killer plots - I think they are cop out because at the end you can pick almost anybody to be the killer and they always seem to be able to do crazy things without anybody catching them. However, I have to say I was wrong on who the killer was. I had somebody else completely different in mind.

It was interesting though that the story centered about different kinds of mental illnesses and how the medi
russell barnes
I think somewhere amongst all the waffle there's quite a neat Stuart thriller lurking, with a sharp knife hidden up it's doublet.

However, this Mephistophelean figure keeps getting elbowed out of the way by constant repetition of clues, descriptions of Shardlake's back/Guy's skin/Harsnet's religion, and weirdly, Sansom's favourite turn of phrase. None of which I can think of off the top of my head, but rest assured you'll be reading and you'll be assailed by an awful sense of deja vu as you re-r
I simply can't express just how much I love Sansom's Shardlake series! The writing is so engaging, it's a rare gem of a book that can be so utterly detailed, dancing around truths but all the while keep the reader completely engaged, griped to the very end! Matthew seems so real to me, a dear friend rather than just a character. Sansom brings him to life fabulously in his books, every character simply bursts off the page, each man and woman unique, no repeat mundane descriptions here! I cannot r ...more
Another great Shardlake story! This series is addictive. Amazon: "Readers across America are discovering C. J. Sansom's marvelous Shardlake novels. Now, with the brilliant fourth installment in the series, Revelation is poised to bring his highly praised historical thrillers to an even wider audience. In 1543, while Tudor England is abuzz with King Henry VIII's wooing of Lady Catherine Parr, Matthew Shardlake is working to defend a teenage boy, a religious fanatic being held in the infamous Bedl ...more
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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 promi
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Other Books in the Series

Matthew Shardlake (6 books)
  • Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)
Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1) Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2) Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3) Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5) Winter in Madrid

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