Henry VIII has ordered the dissolution of the monasteries and England is full of informers. At the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control with the murder of Commissioner Robin Singleton. Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer, and his assistant are sent to investigate.
Shardlake goes to war...
Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth, the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war, and England is in the grip of soaring inflation and economic crisis. Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of "monstrous wrongs" committed against a young ward of the court, which have already involved one mysterious death, Shardlake and his assistant, Barak, journey to Portsmouth.
Once arrived, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing to become a war zone; and Shardlake takes the opportunity to also investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. The emerging mysteries around the young ward, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions with both an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Events will converge on board one of the King's great warships, primed for battle in Portsmouth harbour...
From the Hardcover edition.
Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies. Meanwhile, a teenage boy, a religious maniac, has been placed in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. When an old friend os Matthew Shardlake is murdered, his investigations leads to connections to both, and to the prophecies of the book of Revelation. Shardlake follows a trail of horrific murders that are igniting frenzied talk of witchcraft and demonic posession. For what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer...?
The first English biography of a man that has affected some of the most dramatic and historic events of the 20th century, Otto von Habsburg
Otto von Habsburg became the head of the Habsburg family at nine years old, three years after his father's exile and has spent the last eighty years as a dominant figure in European politics. Refusing to support Hitler, developing a close friendship with F.D. Roosevelt, and becoming a member of European Parliament, he's led quite a fascinating life. Today at ninty, he continues to be active, being one of the strongest advocates for a unified Europe.
A train of seemingly random events - coincidence? Or something much more sinister? A wrong number here, a case of mistaken identity there, a chance meeting with a stranger who knows your best friend. Most people dismiss such things as trivial, unimportant. Mere coincidence. Or could there be a hidden pattern in these seemingly random events? George Daly's life has been as unremarkable as most people's, until the day he finds himself going through his dead father's possessions. He discovers a photograph of himself as a boy, but he has no memory of where it was taken, nor does he recognize the people with him. As he investigates further, he experiences an increasingly bizarre chain of coincidences that soon threaten to unravel his whole world. Before long he finds himself fighting for his sanity and even his survival.
It is 1540, and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty-one years when Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," is pressed to help a friend's young niece who is charged with murder.
Despite threats of torture and death by the rack, the girl is inexplicably silent. Shardlake is about to lose her case when he is suddenly granted a reprieve - one that will ensnare him again in the dangerous schemes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general.
In exchange for two more weeks to investigate the murder, Shardlake accepts Cromwell's assignment to find a lost cache of Dark Fire, an ancient weapon of mass destruction. Cromwell, out of favor since Henry's disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves, is relying on Shardlake's discovery to save his position at court, which is rife with conspiracy
It is spring, 1543 and King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife — but this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.
Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy, a religious maniac who has been placed by the King's council in the Bedlam hospital for the insane. Should he be released as his parents want, when his terrifying actions could lead to him being burned as a heretic?
Then, when an old friend is horrifically murdered, Shardlake promises his widow — for whom he has long had complicated feelings — to bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to connections not only with the boy in Bedlam, but with Archbishop Cranmer and Catherine Parr, and with the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.
As London's Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants, Shardlake, together with his assistant Jack Barak and his friend Guy Malton, follow the trail of a series of horrific murders that shake them to the core. Murders which are already bringing about frenzied talk of witchcraft and a demonic possession, for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer?
From the Hardcover edition.
- Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers, and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House. Defiance, though, is growing.
In Britain, Winston Churchill's Resistance organisation is increasingly a thorn in the government's side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle forever. Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given by them the mission to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London’s Great Smog; as David’s wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined. And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men . . .