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Dissolution

A Matthew Shardlake Novel
Written by: C. J. Sansom
Narrated by: Anton Lesser
Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 alter, and the disappearance of Scarnsea's Great Relic.

Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death. But Shardlake's investigation soon forces him to question everything he hears and everything that he intrinsically believes.

© C. J. Sansom; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What the critics say

"Having hugely enjoyed Anton Lesser's reading of Sovereign, the third of C.J. Sansom's Tudor mystery series starring the hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, I backtracked to hear the first two in the series, Dissolution and Dark Fire.. . As a trio, they reveal just how skilled Sansom is in creating convincing characters in a fully imagined historical world, and it is no surprise that a television series featuring Shardlake is planned. I'm not sure if Anton Lesser will star in it, but after hearing him narrate all three books, I can't imagine anyone better suited to the role... Following the text in a paperback, I let my eyes chase what my ears were hearing and was impressed at how little had to be lost." Christina Hardyment ( The Times Books)

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  • Aileen
  • Armidale, Australia
  • 2012-02-16

Wonderful historical mystery

This audiobook was a wonderful experience. The story is absorbing and well-plotted. The characters, especially Matthew Shardlake, are beautifully drawn and believable. It is very difficult to balance historical authenticity and sympathetic characterisation. The main character's rather modern sensibilities and values are made more credible by his physical disability, which casts him as an outsider in Tudor London. For me, Sansom got it exactly right in that regard. I know nothing of the author's background, but I am convinced he is deeply knowledgeable about the period.
The setting is England during the reformation. The main character is committed to the new order and works for Cromwell. His beliefs and values are shaken by the implications of what happens in the course of the novel. I found the political and domestic intrigue very interesting and absorbing.
I loved the book, and the narrator is simply perfect. His voice, accent and characterisation all got it right. For me, it was the perfect form for the content. I love narrators who are able to suggest dialogue by opposite-sex characters without descending into parody - the deep grumble by a female narrator, or the embarrassing falsetto by the male narrator. Anton Lesser was able to give real depth and consistency to a whole raft of male, female, adult and adolescent characters.
I recommend this audiobook wholeheartedly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • Korea
  • 2016-05-04

intersting to know

Tudor mysteries are quite fascinating enough for me to keep reading even when there are so many esoteric words. Now looking forward to second book ^^

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  • Adi
  • 2015-04-13

Best book I read this year

A great book , interesting , bring a vivid view of the 15 century and also a good detective book , I highly recommend

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  • Jennifer
  • 2012-07-17

Another good one!

A good historical novel and the narrator was well suited to the tone of the book. Enjoyed it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful