Paul's Reviews > Dissolution

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in January, 2012

Reasonably good crime thriller set in Tudor England at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries (1537). Matthew Shardlake is one of Thomas Cromwell's commissioners who is charged with investigating the death of another commissioner at Scarnsea, a Benedictine Monastery on the south coast. Shardlake is a hunchback and physically weak; another addition to the detectives with imperfections genre. It is pretty well written, a bit flowery at times, but an easy read and not too demanding.
I found it interesting to contrast the character of Cromwell as he is portrayed here with the account in Wolf Hall, but few other historical characters popped up. There are good descriptions of daily life, smells and all. There is an good can you spot the killer out of the line up build up, and before our detective does; a vital element in all decent detective stories.
The story has mad monks, torture, lust, avarice, plenty of religiuos zeal (both Catholic and Protestant), blasphemy, murder and a good deal of English weather.
This was one of my bed time reads; I enjoyed it and it was not too taxing; if you like detective stories this may be for you; reminded me a little of Cadfael
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