Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake #3) by C.J. Sansom

bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery-thriller, published-2006, re-visit-2015, radio-4, tudor, series, play-dramatisation, paper-read, hardback, a-cut-above

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from January 17, 2007 to October 03, 2015

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06bglnf

Revisit is via R4 dramatisation: Atmospheric dramatisation of C. J. Sansom’s third Tudor crime novel featuring hunchback lawyer detective Matthew Shardlake.

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Royal Progress to York, aiming to strike fear and awe into his rebellious northern subjects. Shardlake, and his assistant Barak, arrive in the city a day ahead of the 3,000-strong procession. Officially there to prepare petitions for the King, they have also been tasked with a secret mission by Archbishop Cranmer: to ensure the welfare of one of the northern conspirators, Sir Edward Broderick, who is to be brought back to London for questioning in the Tower.

1/10: Tensions are running high in the city, and soon Shardlake is called to investigate a suspicious death – and stumbles upon a daring plot that has the potential to shake England to its core

2/10: After settling into their living quarters, Shardlake witnesses a man fall to a terrible death and, on hearing his last words, feels sure it was more than an unfortunate accident.

3/10: After meeting with fellow lawyer Wrenne, Shardlake and Barak decide to go back to Oldroyd’s house and see if they can find something to confirm Shardlake’s suspicion that there was more to the glazier’s death than a terrible accident.

4/10: Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII’s spectacular Royal Progress is drawing closer to York. Shardlake and his assistant Barak have arrived in the city ahead of the 3,000-strong procession. Officially there to prepare petitions for the King, they have also been tasked with a secret mission by Archbishop Cranmer: to ensure the welfare of one of the conspirators, Sir Edward Broderick, who is to be brought back to London for questioning in the Tower.

But they have become distracted from their duties by the mysterious death of a local glazier, Oldroyd, and Shardlake has been attacked by an unknown assailant who then stole papers from a box found hidden in Oldroyd’s house. Bruised and smarting from tough questioning by Sir William Maleverer, Shardlake prepares to ride out to meet King Henry VIII.

5/10: Reeling from his public humiliation at the hands of King Henry, Shardlake returns to York knowing that it will haunt him for the rest of his life. His troubles aren’t over, however, because an old enemy is waiting to see him: Sir Richard Rich.

6/10: Shardlake has been left badly shaken by the attempt upon his life. Fearing for his safety, he hopes to convince Sir William Maleverer that he should be sent back to London.

7/10: Shardlake, aided by his trusty assistant Barak, is determined to pursue his own investigations into Oldroyd’s murder and the theft of the treasonous papers – as well as to discover who has been trying to kill him. Their inquiries lead them to a rough part of York, in search of information about Craike.

8/10: After the second attempt upon his life, Shardlake is convinced that the stolen papers – with their allegations against the King – hold the key to the whole mystery.

9/10: With the killer unmasked and his final duty – caring for the prisoner, Broderick – almost complete, Shardlake is glad to be heading returning south with the Progress. But when the ship docks in London, he receives a shocking summons.

10/10: Falsely accused of treason and unable to answer the gaoler’s questions, Shardlake awaits his fate in the Tower of London. Can Barak convince Archbishop Cranmer that the allegations are false and save him from the torture chamber?

I got to hiss, boo, and shake both fists at Dickie Rich all over again. Come on BBC – give us the whole book series as TV drama, you have the costumes from Mantel’s epic.

11 Things you didn’t know about King Henry VIII’s Great Progress

Shardlake: Justin Salinger
Barak: Bryan Dick
Maleverer: Stephen Critchlow
Radwinter: David Acton
Broderick: Nick Underwood
Wrenne: Geoffrey Whitehead
Craike: Patrick Brennan
Rich: Chris Pavlo
Innkeeper: Mark Edel-Hunt

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