Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review ~ Dissolution

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1)
By C.J. Sansom
Published by Pan

Summary: The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general, summons fellow reformer Matthew Shardlake to lead the inquiry. Shardlake and his young protégé uncover evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason, and when two other murders are revealed, they must move quickly to prevent the killer from striking again.

My Thoughts: I've only started reading about Tudor England in the past year and then it hasn't been the normal books that everyone else has read.  Even without being completely familiar with this time period I still enjoyed this book. The author did an excellent job of creating a mystery, crime novel set in a recognizable historical setting.
I thought Matthew Shardlake's physical deformity added another dimension and really to this character. Rather than just being a straight laced everyday detective he was moody and difficult but at the same time had an understanding for those who would normally be overlooked. The rest of the characters really brought out the time period that this story takes place. From all the different personalities of the monks to the hatred of the townspeople and the King's people.
The only negative I had with this book was the ending. Not the guilty party but what became of them. It was too clean. This book had an almost gritty quality to it and would have been better left with the mystery of what happened to them rather than the sappy sweet ending they were given.

Rating: 4

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