This work is set in autumn, 1541. Following the uncovering of a plot against his throne in Yorkshire, King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to overawe his rebellious subjects there. Accompanied by a thousand soldiers, the cream of the nobility, and his fifth wife Catherine Howard, the King is to attend an extravagant ...
This work is set in autumn, 1541. Following the uncovering of a plot against his throne in Yorkshire, King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to overawe his rebellious subjects there. Accompanied by a thousand soldiers, the cream of the nobility, and his fifth wife Catherine Howard, the King is to attend an extravagant submission of the local gentry at York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation. But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. As the Great Progress arrives in the city, Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers that holds danger for the King's throne, and a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-01-29 Sansom's engrossing third historical featuring Matthew Shardlake (after 2005's Dark Fire) finds the hunchbacked barrister at the vortex of strife-torn Tudor England in the rainy autumn of 1541. Northern Britain anxiously awaits the arrival of the Great Progress taking Henry VIII and an entourage of thousands toward York to quell a fresh rebellion. Recently appointed a legal counsel for the Progress, Shardlake has a secret mission from Archbishop Cranmer to guarantee the safe return to London of imprisoned conspirator Sir Edward Broderick. With his trusted assistant, Jack Barak, Shardlake also investigates the death of master glazier Peter Oldroyd, a suspected papist, who fell from his ladder and was impaled on glass shards. Their search of Oldroyd's house reveals intriguing documents that question the royal line of succession and even impugn Henry. Despite complex court politics and several attempts on his life, Shardlake stalwartly maintains his integrity while searching for truth amid the "vipers' nest" of Henry's court. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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