Book 9: Heartstone (C.J. Sansom)

Aha! I have finally finished the mammoth 700+ page novel. My first full length novel of 2012 – read from start to finish. After the past few years I’ve had, trying to read books, picking them up, putting them down, picking them up, putting them down, forgetting about them, having to start again, picking them up, putting them down etc. etc. this is my greatest feat of the year yet! Hurrah!

It was an excellent book. The fifth of a series of er… five. The previous 4 of which I read late last year, almost in order. The character of Mathew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer, has grown on me throughout the series and, now, I love his kind nature and inquisitive mind, not to mention bravery. I also love how Jack Barak, Shardlake’s clerk and close friend, has grown as a character since he arrived in book 2 of 5 and his choice of wife. I hope there will be more in the series but C.J. Sansom will be hard pressed to top the climax of the events around the sinking of the Mary Rose. I actually hope he reigns it in a bit, the climax was most fantastical and a little unbelievable.

I had only two other issues.

One: The book did not seem too long, however, in places I did stop myself from thinking that it was getting too long by putting it down (and picking it up again).

Two: I guessed the big secret around Hugh Curtsey very quickly, it’s a common theme. Usually, I stop myself from trying to guess the secrets in books as I like the big reveal but this was too obvious to me from early on.

I did not guess the other big reveal, which was brilliant.

So, I give this book 9/10 – lost point for the couple of issues but a great story, well written, held me through over 700 pages and I didn’t want to stop reading at any point.

I am not yet behind in the one book a week stakes, this may change very soon though…  for my next feat is an MSc dissertation!

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