CWA New Blood Dagger
CWA Historical Dagger
Waverton Good Read Award
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 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 . . .
Follow Shardlake into the dark heart of Tudor England with Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation and Tombland.
In the media
Matthew Shardlake combines engrossing historical detail with a first-rate murder mystery. A really satisfying page-turner.
Independent on Sunday
Sansom has a greater talent for animating period details than most of his contemporaries, his rendering of the Tudor winter in the first of the Shardlake series makes you reach for thick fleece blankets.
Remarkable . . . The sights, the voices, the very smell of this turbulent age seem to rise from the page.
Extraordinarily impressive. The best crime novel I have read this year.