Apr 22nd, 2010 by Thomas Stofer
Author: C.J. Sansom
Paperback: 456 pages
Publication Date: 06/08/2004
Set in 1537, Dissolution sees lawyer and reformer Matthew Shardlake sent by Cromwell to investigate the murder of Cromwell’s commissioner, Robin Singleton, at the monastery of Scarnsea. However, Shardlake’s arrival coincides with a spate of brutal murders at the monastery and his investigations reveal secrets that force him to re-evaluate his beliefs.
Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose is obviously an influence on Dissolution, but Sansom keeps this novel as a whodunnit and forgoes Eco’s intellectual digressions [which is something that I was profoundly thankful for!]. Sansom creates a sinister and dangerous vision of Tudor England with the hulking, sombre monastery of Scarnsea at its heart and a plethora of dislikeable characters within its confines, any one of whom could be the murderer [although I must admit that I worked out who Singleton’s killer was fairly early on].