C. J. Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake trilogy

Is your life as a lawyer not quite what you thought it would be?  Do you find yourself spending more and more time drifting from unbillable blog to unbillable blog when you should be — I don’t know — working on imaginary deposition questions for Dick Cheney so you will be ready when the imaginary Supreme Court Justice calls on you to lead the prosecution of the …? 

What would be a better use of your time would be to hide one of the (admittedly thick and rather awkward to handle) Matthew Shardlake English renaissance legal thrillers behind that ceremonial Blackstone you keep on your desk so you can read the brainy adventures of C.J. Sansom’s hunchbacked barrister, a series that began with Dissolution (evil doings in the monasteries following Henry VIII’s appropriation of their wealth), continued with Dark Fire (somebody’s got the formula for Greek Fire, and the balance of world power could be tipped) and lately involve the cranky hero in one of those gigantic royal processions where the monarch and his gigantic retinue waddle across the landscape eating everything in sight in Sovereign.  These are brilliant books.  P. D. James reads them for pleasure, which makes me think rather better of her than I did. Shardlake is smarter than everyone around him (just like you) and pines (invisibly) for love.  The close look at the Tudor police state is a revelation.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on August 17, 2007 at 11:54 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] is C. J. Sansom? Stacked hasn’t been in business all that long, but he’s already getting his second warm embrace from this usually prickly quarter. We’re in the middle of Revelation, which is yet another Matthew Shardlake mystery, and we would […]

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