Archive for the ‘5’ Category

CJ Sansom - Dissolution

Posted by Mystery Reader under 5, CJ Sansom

DissolutionThis book is nothing short of fantastic. Not only does Sansom manage to enthrall his readers with a great classical “whodunnit”, but he also builds up a very vivid and clear picture of a 1530-monastery in Scarnsea, Sussex. The mastery does not end there, however. The author weaves in the political turmoil that is Henry VIIIs rule and the dissolution of the monasteries in England.

The protagonist, Mathew Shardlake, is a lawyer at Lincoln’s Inn in London, sent to investigate the murder of one of Thomas Cromwell’s Commissioners, who has been sent to investigate the Scarnsea monastery. The body has been brutally mutilated, but the altar of the monastery’s altar has been used to sacrifice a black cockerel and a great relic has been stolen. Surely, a group of Satanic worshipers have killed the commissioner and performed these acts of sacrilege?

We follow Shardlake as he slowly uncovers the truth behind the Commissioner’s murder and how the investigation leads him all the way to the inner circles of Henry VIII’s court.

This is CJ Sansom’s first book, but he shows no “rookie”-signs whatsoever. A great mystery novel, combined with a fascinatng history lesson. I knew very little of The Dissolution nor of Thomas Cromwell when I started this book, and I had only heard a little of Henry VIII and all his wives. All of a sudden it has become a favorite historical period of mine, and I immediately started watching “The Tudors” on DVD.

The books is a definite FIVE, which makes rating his other books even harder, since they’re even better.

Final Grade: 5/5

Caleb Carr - The Alienist

Posted by Mystery Reader under 5, Caleb Carr

It’s been almost 10 years since I picked up Caleb Carr’s book The Alienist, and just as long since I last read it. However, it’s still one of my favorite books EVER.

Set in New York around the end of the 19th century, the story is being narrated by one of the main characters, a journalist by the name of John Moore. The book’s central character, however, is Laszlo Kreizler, a Hungarian psychiatrist living in New York City

The story is a dark one, involving child prostitution, poverty, and murder. While the book’s theme might scare people off, you get a very well written story that combines history with forensics and forensics psychology. Carr has managed to make a believable adaptation of some of today’s methods for catching serial killers, to a 19th century setting. Combine this with a true enthusiast’s view of 19th century New York City and you have a greatly written story in a vividly described historical environment.

I definately recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in forensics, late 19th century history, and/or New York City.

Along the way, not only do we get a truly thrilling story, we also get to meet some historical characters, such as Theodore Roosevelt, William Hearst and J.P. Morgan.

Final Grade: 5/5

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