All revealed in the end…

Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
by C.J. Sansom

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The high chandeliers in the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn were ablaze with candles, for it was late afternoon when the play began. Most members of Lincoln’s Inn were present, the barristers in their robes and their wives in their best costumes. After an hour standing watching, my back was starting to ache, and I envied the few elderly and infirm members who had brought stools.

First paragraph

No idea whodunnit until shortly before the end. I am useless like that. I rarely figure out who the murderer is, unless it is really, really obvious… This had been sitting on my shelf for several years and the previous books were even further in the past. My taste has changed, as it does every few years. I rarely read mysteries or historical fiction. I was really concerned that this would bore me. Alas, I liked it a lot! Slow, with a nice amount of exposition. Good character descriptions, with well developed personalities. Historically pretty sound, as far as I can tell. Very homogenous. Full of suspense towards the end, could not put it down anymore.

The murders are gruesome and reminiscent of a famous 90s movie. With the context of Henry VIII, his dissolution of the monasteries and the religious upheaval of that time it works well. I also liked the side story of Shardlake‘s law case and his budding interest in Dorothy. Possibilities!

Bottomline, a very good book. I will definitely continue with the series.

Thoughts and mini-research:

Are serial killers a new development of the 20th century or did they always exist? I give you this list… Breaking the perpetrators by the wheel, quartering, beheading and burning at the stake seem to have been popular punishments. Gruesome.

What I do wonder about though is the discussion and exploration of medicine and especially psychology. Is that something that would have happened in the 16th century? Apparently it could have, I found this gentleman.

I also googled Westminster Abbey, its chapterhouse and the Book of Revelations. I could not find really satisfying representation of those panels, but here are some hints.

And Revelations 16 — don‘t peak, until you are certain why I am posting the link…

– Revelations, Audioslave
– Supermassive Black Hole, Muse
– Revelations, Judas Priest
– Bedlam, Michael Graves