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(Matthew Shardlake #6)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  13,899 ratings  ·  1,169 reviews
As Henry VIII lies on his deathbed, an incendiary manuscript threatens to tear his court apart.

Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. As heretics are hunted across London, and radical Protestants are burned at the stake, th
Hardcover, 656 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Mulholland Books (first published October 23rd 2014)
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Jen Pattison I think that if any author wrote precisely in the language of the time of the Tudors, it would be largely unintelligible to modern readers so I'm not …moreI think that if any author wrote precisely in the language of the time of the Tudors, it would be largely unintelligible to modern readers so I'm not too bothered about the occasional anachronism. It is interesting how language changes over time and is still doing so today. I wonder if in 50 years' time, everyone will be writing in text language? (Perish the thought!)(less)

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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without doubt, the Shardlake series is my favourite historical mystery series ever. Having re-read the earlier books, I started the latest with anticipation. C J Sansom has created a word so realistic that, as soon as you begin reading, you are back in that era – it is all waiting for you, from the Inns of Court, to Shardlake’s house – with his continuing problems of finding a steward he is comfortable with – to the malevolent presence of a King, so unpredictable and feared that most people tend ...more
What a book, a great history read, great story and a great writer. The best in the Shardlake series for me. Kept me on the edge of my chair from beginning to end. Great suspense and interesting imaginable insights into court life of King Henry VIII, the politics and the religious turmoil, his wife Queen Catherine Parr and the continued strenuous adventures of Matthew Shardlake, hunchback lawyer. Now I'm sorry I have to wait a long time for the next book in the series.... Matthew and Elizabeth... ...more
Manuel Antão
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

The De-romanticization of Tudor England: "Lamentation" by C.J. Sansom

Are we born with the innate gift of writing stories? I’m not sure. What I’m pretty sure is that it takes more than being born with a knack for words to write something worth reading. There’s no point for a writer to complain to the gods that she or he does not have the writing skills of Shakespeare, or Dickens, or Heinlein: what a writer needs to do is to the best he/
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
C.J. Sansom is at the top of his genre with this set of Tudor era historical mysteries. By mixing legal conundrums with controversies of the time, the reader is easily transported back in time and enveloped in stories that resonate throughout the centuries. England is at war again, though it is no sovereign state that has declared its opposition. Rather, there is a religious clash that continues at a time when Henry VIII seeks to reunite with past foes. While the Catholic/Church of England clash ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Another excellent book by C.J. Sansom in the Matthew Shardlake series. This is one of my favourite historical series. Not just because Sansom writes about the period so well with the type of historical detail that makes you visualise the streets of London, the palaces and Inns of Court, but also because he writes such absorbing plots and interesting characters. Even though this is a big book, there is never a moment when the pace drops off or the interest wanes.

Henry VIII is near the end of his
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another remarkable book in this brilliant series. This is number six and I very much hope that C.J. Sansom is busy right now writing number seven! This one may even be the best in the series so far despite the fact that everything that can go wrong does go wrong for our hero Matthew Shardlake.
Matthew is an unusual hero at the best of times, a hunch back lawyer with very little going for him physically. However he is a very honorable man at a time when there was not much honour around which freq
Have been saving this one up for a while now as its the latest in the series & will leave me upto date & waiting (hopefully) for a continuation in the series.

Such a smooth narrator, as we get straight back into the saddle & quickly we become reacquainted with the world of Master Serjeant Shardlake (a lawyer) in Tudor England in the era of the Great reformation. You can smell the streets with the authenticity of the writing & before you know it you are like 200 pages into the book as it’s web dra
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shardlake is in top form! The plot was develops fast with some very good twists. Interesting tale about catholic traditionalists and protestant reformers under Henry VIII. I really enjoyed this book.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all historical mystery fans
Page 12:
"So this was Anne Askew, who had left her husband in Lincolnshire to come and preach in London, and said the consecrated wafer was no more than a piece of bread, which would go mouldy like any other if left in a box."

Internet Shakespeare Editions: Anne Askew's Examinations defies the constraints of gender and hierarchy, and attempts to expose patriarchal insecurity surrounding female involvement in traditionally male religious subjects.

Anne Askew burned at the stake. The image is provide
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
It wasn't until I was almost half way through this book that I began to enjoy it. The first part of the book felt like scene setting - before the plot finally kicked off and we went for a run-away ride that was utterly gripping. Issues included....

*political machinations and intrigue in high places
*frightening tales of religious persecution
*a wonderfully eccentric legal case that Shardlake's law firm was dealing with
*the gossipy and sweet charms of Shardlake's home life

There is also a marvellous
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Richly rendered with his trademark eye for detail in his Tudor-based world, C.J. Samson's Shardlake series are always a delightful eye-opening read.

In Lamentation, the sixth entry in the series, lawyer Matthew Shardlake is older and grumpier, the losses he experienced in the previous volume haunting him, compounded by domestic imbroglios at home and inevitable troubles at work. His current case involves a litigious, viciously antagonistic brother and sister, showing us how even in Tudor times,
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
That was most definitely the best book in this series. It was a beast, 700 pages of historical fiction. But Sansom’s writing and Crossley’s narration made it a joy to read, just like the others in the series.

Now that I have read this book I am up to date with this series. I’m not sure if there are going to be anymore. I’ve not heard or seen anything to suggest either that this is the last one or if another will be written and published eventually. If one does come out then I will certainly read
It is no secret that I adore CJ Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series. You all know it. My kids know it. I should probably start a fan club. This book is one more reason to get your hands on some Team Matthew paraphernalia.

This installment in Matthew's story brings him in contact, once again, with the lovely Catherine Parr. Though he claims to desire a quiet life and toys with the idea of moving to the country, the adventures that Matthew gets himself involved in make one wonder if he does not truly
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
With his latest Shardlake mystery, C.J. Sansom once again paints a vivid portrait of Henry VIII’s England. This novel is set in the last year of Henry’s life during one of the many fluctuations of what is the proper way to worship God. Henry is drifting towards the conventional understanding the Eucharist and as a result there is a hunt on for heretics.

In the opening sequence of the novel, Shardlake is required by his superiors at Lincoln Inn to attend the burning of 4 people convicted of heresy
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The sixth Master Shardlake thriller was again a breathtaking adventure and immensely enjoyable. Master Shardlake is such a likeable character that you greatly fear for his well being and bite your nails in fear that he will be put on the rack in the Tower and left behind to rot. Luckily he has friends in mighty high places, but his luck is running very thin at times. I think Shardlake invokes such sympathy because he is always forced into all these dangerous adventures by the high and mighty of ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lamentation is the sixth book in the wonderful Matthew Shardlake series written by the excellent author C.J. Sansom. Shardlake is a hunchbacked lawyer in the time of Henry VIII. This book involves a mystery with the King's last wife, Catherine Parr.

Parr writes a small book called Lamentation of a Sinner about her personal faith. The book, kept under lock and key, disappears which is quite troubling. Henry is in a period of regret about leaving the Church and the search for heretics is going st

It was exciting to learn that a new Shardlake was coming out (admittedly in 2014 but it’s taken me a while to get around to reading this one!) and I was looking forward to getting back into the Tudor world and living through the eyes of the lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Everything is there that was in the previous novel, the excellent descriptions going into how London looked, felt, smelled during this time period all leap off the page and the characters are outlined so well that it feels like y
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2016
The sixth wife of King Henry VIII, Queen Catherine Parr, has made what could be a fatal error. She has written a book, The Lamentation of a Sinner, which contains confessional and radical contents. She has also kept this book a secret from her husband, and if he was to find out this almost certainly bring her and sympathizers disgrace and ruination. The book has been stolen from a chest in her private quarters and a page was found in the hands of a dead printer in the backstreets of Tudor London ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry the Eighth is rapidly becoming a defeated man in both body and spirit. Shardlake's loyalty and discretion is called upon, once more, to assist in uncovering intrigue at the royal court.

Sansom's Tudor mysteries have been a delight. I have shadowed lawyer Shardlake's life and career, his thoughts and vulnerabilities, through the unforgiving streets of old London. Attention to Tudor detail, mixed with stories that add plot-driven pace make these novels such wonderful, atmospheric reads. They
And so it ends...

Henry VIII is dying. His courtiers are all watching their steps lest they offend his wavering views on religion, Anne Askew is burned as a heretic, and all England is afraid of what will come next. In the midst of this all, Queen Katherine Parr has written a manuscript entitled "Lamentations of a Sinner" which could seal her fate and see her arrested as a heretic if it should fall into the wrong hands- and one day, it is stolen. Turning to the one man she can trust, she once aga
Beaver Hateman
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
The author has been suffering a serious illness which might explain while some of the incidents seem a little over familiar: Shardlake being confronted by the haughty and mighty; intricate manoeuverings among the court,; fights in filthy inns. I also felt that the author didn't capture the feel of Tudor times as he did in earlier books.
However from the first paragraph I was gripped. These books are galloped through. Later one re-reads them to admire and analyse the plotting. They are also the bo
Tanja Berg
So I went back to Henry the VIII land and the lawyer Matthew Shardlake's escapades. The King's health is deteriorating, but he is still as viscious and upredictable as ever - to a degree, even more so, due to pain. When Queen Catherine Parr notices that the little book she has written, "the Lamentation of a Sinner" has disappeared, she is frightened for her life and enlists Matthew's help.

I'm not sure what to think. The historical detail is superb and rings true. The King is terrifying and I ha
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review to come. This was a long whopper of a book. All of the books in this series are hefty, but this one somehow took me longer to get through. Sudden and surprising events at the very end, concerning favorite characters, have left some cliffhangers for the next book. Glad I already have it on order!
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know why, but this Matthew Shardlake series reminds me of the old NBC Mystery Movie series of rotating detective shows that aired in the 1970s. Yeah, I’m dating myself.

Matthew Shardlake, the star of this series, is a hunchback lawyer during the reign of Henry VIII. I don’t suppose there were many with his condition in that occupation back in those days. It’s that out-of-placeness that reminds me of the Columbo, MacMillian & Wife, and McCloud detectives of the Mystery Movies. McCloud for
Tony Riches
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
C. J. Sansom is one of my favourite authors, and I've enjoyed reading his 'Shardlake' series, so I opened this massive 615 page brick of a book with high expectations. I was not dissapointed - how about this for an opening sentence: 'I did not want to attend the burning.'

Set in the final days of King Henry VIII, the tension of his court is palpable and the dying king's dark, brooding presence is a sinister as anything I've read by Stephen King (another of my favourite authors.)

Our hero, Matthew
Mark Harrison
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant mystery as hunchback lawyer Shardlake attempts to retrieve an ill conceived booklet written by Catherine Parr which, if discovered, could lead to her execution. A high body count follows as Matthew and sidekick Barak battle many levels of Court intrigue, religious zealots, assassins and the most power hungry men in the kingdom to protect the Queen. Wonderful narrative style, complicated but clever plot lines and a most interesting period of English history - breathtaking read.
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Published 23rd October 2014
Author : C. J. Sansom

I've been a fan of C. J. Sanson's work ever since I accidentally came across his book Sovereign. I really enjoy reading and learning about the Tudors and this book certainly did not disappoint. Henry VIII was suffering ill health and married to his last wife Catherine Parr who had written a confessional book Lamentation of a Sinner. It's up to Matthew Shardlake to find out who has stolen this from a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber there
Brian Clegg
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a great reader of historical fiction with the exception of titles where it overlaps with crime. Perhaps the greatest proponent of that crossover is C. J. Sansom, and his latest novel, Lamentation, featuring the hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, operating in the complex times of Tudor England, is to my mind his best. Oddly, this is despite - or, rather, because - this isn't much of a crime novel. Instead what we have here is a full blown Tudor political thriller, with all the twists a ...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

Other books in the series

Matthew Shardlake (7 books)
  • Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)
  • Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
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