The year is 1540. Shardlake has been pulled, against his better judgement, into defending Elizabeth Wentworth, charged with murdering her cousin. He is powerless to help the girl, yet she is suddenly given a reprieve – courtesy of Cromwell. The cost of the reprieve to Shardlake is two weeks once again in his service.
It is 1537 and Thomas Cromwell has ordered that all monasteries should be dissolved. Cromwell's Commissioner is found dead, his head severed from his body. Dr Shardlake is sent to uncover the truth behind what has happened. His investigation forces him to question everything that he himself believes.
A compelling thriller and love story set in post-civil War Spain
Fans of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's and Sebastian Faulks's will fall in love with , the arresting new novel from C. J. Sansom. In September 1940, the Spanish Civil War is over and Madrid lies in ruins while the Germans continue their march through Europe. Britain stands alone as General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war.
Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett, a privileged young man who was recently traumatized by his experience in Dunkirk and is now a reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of Sandy Forsyth, an old school friend turned shadowy Madrid businessman, Brett finds himself involved in a dangerous game—and surrounded by memories.
Meanwhile, Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged in a secret mission of her own—to find her former lover Bernie Piper, whose passion for the Communist cause led him into the International Brigades and who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama.
In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, is an intimate and riveting tale that offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices.