Dark Fire

By C.J. Sansom,

Book cover of Dark Fire

Book description

When a friend's niece is charged with murder and threatened with torture for her refusal to speak, 1540 lawyer Matthew Sharklake is granted an unexpected two-week reprieve to investigate the case if he will also accept a dangerous assignment to find a legendary weapon of mass destruction. By the author…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Dark Fire as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I found this book by accident, scrolling around TikTok with my new account (joestillmanauthor) while attempting to get the word out about my own novel.

The author was highly recommended, so I chose this particular book by chance, and instantly got caught up in a crime novel set in Cromwell’s England, circa the 1650s. The world was so vivid and reel, I became a civilian reader, carried along from one amazing scene to the next.

This simply had to be written by someone who was there at the time. The danger and stakes were fraught, the mystery engaging, and the…

Some books are time travel capsules. Dark Fire I chose to re-read at a stressful time because, like all of Sansom’s Tudor mysteries, it sides with the bullied, the vulnerable, and the honorable in a culture of greed, religious obsession, and cruel power.

Lawyer Matthew Shardlake is despised everywhere as a hunchback except when the powerful need a shrewd investigator they can trust. Once a religious enforcer for Thomas Cromwell, Shardlake is now horrified by how greed has consumed genuine faith. However, omnipotent Cromwell’s star is falling.

Only if Matthew can get him the alchemical secret of dark Fire –…

This is the second Matthew Shardlake adventure from the pen of a master craftsman, set at the time of Henry VIII.

I was embroiled in danger alongside the lawyer as he fights to save a girl accused of murder from the hangman’s noose and recover a long-lost ancient secret. I learned that the intriguing machinations going on in a Tudor court of law are as shifty and tangled as those at the royal court in Whitehall.

I visited many a seedy London tavern with side-kick Barak during that searing hot summer of 1540, smelling the sour stink of sweaty humanity…

Looking for a rollicking adventure in Tudor London, that doesn’t take place completely at the court of Henry VIII?

The second book in C J Samson’s Matthew Shardlake series is arguably one of the best, though all have merit, and woe betide anyone who wishes to debate such a thing with a serious Samson fan. I recommend Dark Fire as it’s so transportive. It’s for anyone who wishes to feel they are waking up in Tudor London, with their pulse racing, and investigating a matter of death.

It’s dark, of course, the clue is in the title! Yet the danger…

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