My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dissolution is the title of the first Matthew Shardlake novel. This man is a hunchback and lives in the time of King Henry VIII’s England. It is the year of 1537 and the month of November. Queen Jane (The King’s third wife) has just died one month earlier.
Our hero is a reformist living in the confined world of religious upheaval. The king has turned against the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church is all but illegal in England.
Within this confined world, Matthew Shardlake is a lawyer who views the reformist acts as a liberation from the corrupt shackles of Catholicism. The new Protestant fundamentalism is perceived as a release, and Mister Shardlake regards ministers like Thomas Cromwell as a moral champion for the good of all English people. He is summoned to Thomas Cromwell’s office in London and sent on a mission to a Benedictine Monastery on the south coast of England.
The last man of Cromwell’s administration to go there has been murdered while investigating the Monastery’s accounts. Matthew Shardlake must find the killer and bring about the Abbott’s supplication to the new reformist laws of Protestant England.
The story is full of intrigue with a very gripping climax. If you enjoy murder mystery and suspense with a colourful period setting, then the first Matthew Shardlake story is a very fine thriller indeed.
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