Dark Fire

Dark Fire

4.27 (20,898 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, Dark Fire is the second thrilling book in C. J. Sansom's number one bestselling Shardlake series, perfect for fans of Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory.

'When it comes to intriguing Tudor-based narratives, Hilary Mantel has a serious rival' - Sunday Times
'Sansom has the trick of writing an enthralling narrative. Like Hilary Mantel, he produces densely textured historical novels that absorb their readers in another time' - Andrew Taylor, Spectator

England, 1540: Matthew Shardlake, believing himself out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, is busy trying to maintain his legal practice and keep a low profile. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally murdering her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king's chief minister - and a new assignment . . .

The secret of Greek Fire, the legendary substance with which the Byzantines destroyed the Arab navies, has been lost for centuries. Now an official of the Court of Augmentations has discovered the formula in the library of a dissolved London monastery. When Shardlake is sent to recover it, he finds the official and his alchemist brother horribly murdered - the formula has disappeared.

Now Shardlake must follow the trail of Greek Fire across Tudor London, while trying at the same time to prove his young client's innocence. But very soon he discovers nothing is as it seems . . .

An internationally bestselling phenomenon, this gripping historical series continues with Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation and Tombland.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 608 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 37mm | 428g
  • Pan Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed.
  • illustrations, maps
  • 1447285840
  • 9781447285847
  • 6,089

Review Text

Historical crime fiction is sometimes little more than a modern adventure in fancy dress. Not so the novels of C. J. Sansom, whose magnificent books set in the reign of Henry VIII bring to life the sounds and smells of Tudor England . . . Dark Fire is a creation of real brilliance. Sunday Times
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Review quote

Dark Fire is wonderful stuff, featuring a sort of Tudor Rebus who moves through the religious and political chaos of the 1540s with sinister elan. -- James Naughtie * Glasgow Herald * Spellbinding . . . Sansom's vivid portrayal of squalid, stinking, bustling London; the city's wealth and poverty; the brutality and righteousness of religious persecution; and the complexities of English law make this a suspenseful, colourful and compelling tale. * Publishers Weekly * One of the author's greatest gifts is the immediacy of his descriptions . . . But it is Shardlake himself who steals the show. His honesty and humility shine out in a dark world where murder and mayhem are the order of the day. -- Colin Dexter Sansom gives us a broad view of politics - Tudor housing to rival Rachman, Dickensian prisons, a sewage-glutted Thames, beggars in gutters, conspiracies at court and a political system predicated on birth not merit, intrigue not intelligence . . . like many before him, he offers an enjoyable history; but this is also an ethically informed one . . . a strong and intelligent novel. * Guardian * Historical crime fiction is sometimes little more than a modern adventure in fancy dress. Not so the novels of C. J. Sansom, whose magnificent books set in the reign of Henry VIII bring to life the sounds and smells of Tudor England . . . Dark Fire is a creation of real brilliance. * Sunday Times *
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About C. J. Sansom

C. J. Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D. in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. Sansom is the bestselling author of the acclaimed Shardlake series, the Spanish Civil War thriller Winter in Madrid and the lauded alternative history novel Dominion. He lives in Sussex.
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Rating details

20,898 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 43% (9,004)
4 43% (8,912)
3 13% (2,661)
2 1% (268)
1 0% (53)
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