DARK FIRE, by C. J. Sansom

2/series. Tudor-era suspense (and what, during that time, wasn't suspense-filled?) rarely entertain as this one does. Once connected to Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared right-hand-man, lawyer Matthew Sharlake is "just a jobbing lawyer". Asked to aid a young woman accused of murdering her cousin, Shardlake knows he has little chance of defending the girl as she refuses to speak. Her death, by "pressing", will be grisly and appallingly painful. Click below for more...
Reprieve comes with a chilling downside: Cromwell's man Barak will assist in finding a cache of the fabled Greek Fire, also known as Dark Fire due to its color. The King wants the ancient war weapon (think 14th century napalm), and Cromwell has two weeks to produce it. But its inventors have been axed to death and the evidence stolen. Shardlake must not only avoid the axeman, but power-hungry, amoral courtiers, as he and the amazingly useful Barak search for not only the mythical substance, but try to learn why the girl held in Newgate Prison won't talk. It's a 5, evocative, fast-paced, with a delightful narrator (Shardlake himself), a decent, honest man in an age when neither attribute had much value. It's a 5..
Find the author at www.cjsansom.com
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