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Book Title: Sacrilege|
The author of the book: S.J. Parris
ISBN 13: 9780007317783
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 14.83 MB
Date of issue: August 16th 2012
Reader ratings: 4.5
Loaded: 423 times
Read full description of the books Sacrilege:
Where I got the book: LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.
This is apparently the third book in a series, so once again I have the interesting experience of being dropped into an already established situation and trying to catch up. It wasn't too hard; Parris deftly sketches in the portrait of Bruno, the ex-monk, ex-spy, ex-fugitive, philosopher, diplomat and writer. In this book he's under the spell of the beautiful Sophia, who begs him to go to Canterbury to solve the mystery of her late husband's murder and clear her own name; she accompanies him in disguise. Bruno receives a second mission from his political masters: to root out signs of Catholic resistance centered around the cult of Saint Thomas Becket. For this story is set during the reign of Elizabeth I, when the dissolution of the monasteries is a comparatively recent memory.
I enjoyed this mystery/suspense novel very much; there was no lack of incident, the plot was clever without the common fault of the author getting so wound up in her own cleverness that the reader ends up losing the thread, and the story didn't suffer from that other bugbear of mystery novels, the cast of thousands. The plot seemed tightly and thoroughly worked out, and brought the two threads of Bruno's enquiry together with finesse. There's also a love story that evidently stems from the earlier novels and will continue into subsequent ones, a second thread to bind the series of novels together.
I can't quote from the book because it was an ARC, in fact a bound manuscript (a surprise, considering I received the book about two weeks before its release) but I found the writing to be clear, elegant and tight, and the recreation of the historical setting very plausible. There were one or two places where a phrase grated on my ear as slightly too modern, but that may have been corrected before publication so I won't dwell on them.
I would definitely find it worthwhile reading the other two books in the series. I didn't entirely warm up to the main characters (hence the cautious four stars) but I think this series may stand up very well in its genre.
Read information about the authorS.J. Parris began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contemporary arts and politics at London's Soho Theatre. She has appeared as a panelist on various Radio Four shows and on BBC2's Newsnight Review, and is a regular chair and presenter at the Hay Festival and the National Theatre. She has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award, the Orange New Writing Award and the Perrier Comedy Award. She lives in the south of England with her son.
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