Indiana's Reviews > Dissolution

Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
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's review
Mar 20, 15

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, historical, mystery, tudor-england, ma
Read in January, 2009

Really enjoyed it. This is the first book in the Matthew Shardlake Series. There are four so far. Shardlake is a property lawyer in 1537 in London (out of Lincoln’s Inn) who also does occassional assignments for Thomas Cromwell. In this story he is sent to investigate a murder in a monastery that is in the midst of being considered for dissolution and what results is one of those “closed setting” mysteries where the people in the monastery are closed off from the outside world and Shardlake must figure out among the limited cast of characters who did it. At the same time it’s a really interesting look into the players in the English Reformation. But there are no winners in this story. Shardlake is a firm believer in the Reformation but he is idealistic in his beliefs and as he investigates and learns some unpleasant truths about the people he works for and what they have done - he is incredibly disheartened. On the flip side, the monks certainly aren’t portrayed as innocent victims. In one sense there isn’t anyone to really root for in this story. Shardlake is the “hero” (for lack of a better word) of the novel but he isn’t without his faults or weaknesses. He is a very interesting character, however, and certainly likeable in many respects. I think this is an amazing first effort for a first time writer and I’m definitely ordering the rest of the series.

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