Rea's Reviews > Dissolution

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
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's review
Nov 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, mystery
Read in November, 2010

Set in the period when King Henry VIII is set on closing all the monestaries in England, this novel follows the story of Matthew Shardlake, one of Thomas Cromwell's commissioners, as he is sent to a monestary in Southern England to investigate the murder of the commissioner that had been sent before him to ensure the surrender of the monestary to the crown. But, of course, nothing is as it seems and Shardlake must not only wade through the machinations of the monestary and the lives of the monks, but also bring himself to question his beliefs.

My main criticism levelled towards this novel is just how much the narration seems to sometimes drag. Samson appears to want the reader to know absolutely everything about everything, whether it is relevant to the plot or not. He also still seems to be getting to grips with the rule of 'show not tell'.

That said, the novel is very well researched and gives off a very strong feeling of setting. I enjoyed the guided tour of a 16th century monestary and that of the lives of the monks in such a turbulent time. The murder mystery was well thought out and even up until almost the point of the revelation I had no solid suspect in mind.

Although this novel is certainly not great literature, it made for a wonderful read (which not all literature classed as 'great' does) and I'm looking forward to reading the continuing adventures of Matthew Shardlake in the future.
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