C.J. Sansom is the bestselling author of the critically-acclaimed Matthew Sharlake series, as well as the runaway #1 international bestsellers Dominion and Winter in Madrid. He lives in Sussex, England.
As Henry VIII lies on his deathbed, an incendiary manuscript threatens to tear his court apart in the new installment of C.J. Sansom's Shardlake series.
Autumn, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors prepare for a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. The Catholics decide to focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, the Protestant Queen Catherine Parr. As Catherine begins to lose the King's favor, she turns to the shrewd, hunchbacked lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, to contain a potentially fatal secret.
The Queen has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, a memoir so radical that if it came to the King's attention, it could bring her and her courtly sympathizers to ruination. The London printer into whose hands she entrusted the manuscript has been murdered, the book nowhere to be found.
Shardlake's investigations take him down a trail that begins among printshops in the filthy backstreets of London, but leads him once more to the labyrinthine world of court politics, where Protestant friends can be as dangerous as Catholic enemies, and those who will support either side to further their ambition are the most dangerous of all.
"[A] knock-your-socks-off novel."—Patrick Anderson, Washington Post, on Heartstone
"C.J. Sansom has an unerring sense of pace and a deft historical touch."—The New Yorker
"Deeply satisfying."—Deirdre Donahue, USA Today, on Sovereign
"Richly entertaining and reassuringly scholarly. History never seemed so real."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review, on Heartstone
"Sansom's Matthew Shardlake lives and breathes in an utterly convincing world."—Philippa Gregory
PRAISE FOR C.J. SANSOM AND THE SHARDLAKE SERIES:
"C.J. Sansom has long been one of my favorite writers."—Kate Atkinson