Dark Fire

Dark Fire is the second in C.J. Sansom's series following the adventures of the Tudor lawyer, Matthew Shardlake. I read Dissolution a few years ago, and enjoyed it - thought that Sansom was particularly good at supplying the atmosphere of the period - but wasn't bowled over by the mystery itself. Dark Fire however is a very different read, gripping from start to finish, with a strong plotline, great characterisation, and again brilliant atmosphere - it's also extremely well researched, London in the time of Henry VIII comes alive in Sansom's hands.

Shardlake is drawn back into the orbit of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's "fixer", when investigating what appears to be a brutal child murder, the chief suspect refuses to acknowledge either her guilt or innocence and Shardlake is persuaded to investigate. Cromwell steps in to help, but only on condition that Shardlake returns the favour and does some investigating for him about a mysterious substance known as Greek or Dark Fire - a weapon with horrific powers. There is added tension too as it soon becomes clear that Cromwell's own days are numbered - but will he take Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak with him. This is a riveting read, equally enjoyable both to fans of historical or crime fiction. I can't wait to read the next in the series, and will be hunting for it shortly...


Popular Posts