4.07 (28,117 ratings by Goodreads)
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Dissolution is the first in the phenomenal Shardlake series by bestselling author, C. J. Sansom.It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent through the country to investigate the monasteries. There can only be one outcome: the monasteries are to be dissolved. But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's Commissioner Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege - a black cockerel sacrificed on the altar, and the disappearance of Scarnsea's Great Relic. Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell to investigate. But Shardlake's investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears, and everything that he intrinsically believes . . .
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 32mm | 320g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Pan Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprints
  • maps
  • 0330450794
  • 9780330450799
  • 6,158

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. He lives in Sussex.
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Review quote

"This is a humdinger of a whodunnit. Read it!" The sights, the voices, the very smell of this turbulent age seem to rise from the page. With his remarkable debut, C. J. Sansom can lay claim to a place among the most distinguished of modern historical novelists. (P. D. James) Sansom seems to have been born with, or instinctively acquired, that precious balance of creativity and research that lets a mystery set in another time walk a delicate line between history and humanity. ("Chicago Tribune") With this cunningly plotted and darkly atmospheric effort, Sansom proves himself to be a promising newcomer. ("Publishers Weekly") This is a humdinger of a whodunnit. Read it! (Colin Dexter)
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Rating details

28,117 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 36% (10,243)
4 41% (11,426)
3 18% (5,106)
2 4% (1,028)
1 1% (314)

Our customer reviews

All five of the books in this Tudor murder mystery cycle are a damned good read. Oh, and for something completely differernt but equally rivetting don't forget Winter in Madrid!show more
by Mr Ian Scott
Oh I just loved this book, the first of C J Sansom's that I have read and I can't wait to get to the next one! It was full on intrigue, historical fact and packed full of murder and mystery. If you enjoy Tudor history I would imagine this will be right up your street!show more
by Penny Cunningham
This book is wonderful. It is set against the historical backdrop of a country in turmoil, when the monastories where being dissolved and your religious beliefs literally meant life or death. It focuses on a lawyer, a hunchback named Matthew Shardlake who investigates a thrilling string of crimes and murders against this backdrop of Henry VIII's England. The writing is so rich, it transports you back to these sometimes horrific times, but never lets the thread of a good crime thriller drop from your sight. I can't recommend this writer enough, be warned, you will be hooked and become a devoted follower of CJ Sansom and huge fan of the warm and likeable Matthew Shardlake. Really riveting stuff.show more
by Esther Cohen
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