Heartstone

CJ Sansom

Heartstone

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII’s invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel... Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of ‘monstrous wrongs’ committed against his young ward, Hugh Curteys, by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. There, Shardlake also intends to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. Once in Portsmouth, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing for war. The mysteries surrounding the Hobbey family and the events that destroyed Ellen’s family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Soon events will converge on board one of the king’s great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet... 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
Heartstone

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Crime, Thrillers & Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format Hardback
Pages 450
RRP £18.99
Date of Publication September 2010
ISBN 978-1405092739
Publisher Mantle
 

Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII’s invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel... Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of ‘monstrous wrongs’ committed against his young ward, Hugh Curteys, by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. There, Shardlake also intends to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. Once in Portsmouth, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing for war. The mysteries surrounding the Hobbey family and the events that destroyed Ellen’s family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Soon events will converge on board one of the king’s great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet...

Reviews

The Sunday Express

Peter Burton

Heartstone is a substantial novel (nearly 650 pages) and is at once compulsively readable and highly satisfying. Sansom handles a large cast and a complex narrative with great skill and his set piece scenes, the sinking of the Mary Rose, for instance, are quite simply stupendous. An entirely engrossing novel with an intriguing twist.

10/09/2010

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The Sunday Times

Peter Kemp

...a rousing tour de force of period re-creation... Like all the Shardlake books, Heartstone winningly shows Sansom’s crafty flair for hoodwinking even the most hawk-eyed reader.

05/09/2010

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The Spectator

Alan Judd

The best crime fiction depends at least as much on character, atmosphere and sense of place as on plot, and Heartstone is no exception. It may, however, be exceptional as a crime novel in that we don’t actually see a body until p. 384, but it doesn’t matter. The reason it doesn’t is that Sansom’s story develops naturally. And naturalness is perhaps the key to these books, for all the foul and unnatural deeds with which they deal. They work because they feel real. This is good writing and it should be read.

02/10/2010

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The Times

Christina Hardyment

C J. Sansom combines a knack of getting us to experience the past with a talent for warmly memorable characterisation and skilled plot construction. We are as fond of the canny but vulnerable Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his macho sidekick Barak as we are of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin or Terry Pratchett’s Lord Vetinari and Sam Vimes.

21/08/2010

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The Financial Times

Robert Orr

Sansom’s attention to historical detail is rightly praised; he scrupulously avoids the gung-ho military jingoism common in other authors of historical fiction… My one criticism of the book is that it takes rather a long time to get going – although the ensuing twists and riveting conclusion more than make up for it.

30/08/2010

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The Guardian

Laura Wilson

After a slow beginning with a lot of exposition, the pace and tension hot up splendidly as Shardlake's inquiries take him to the Hampshire home of a family with a great deal to hide. A wholly unexpected twist takes us to a superb denouement aboard the doomed warship Mary Rose – terrific stuff, for both fans and newcomers to the series.

18/09/2010

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The Independent

Jane Jakeman

Sansom's skill is such that he can make even the intricacies of Tudor inheritance law gripping.

14/09/2010

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