Sacrilege is S J Parris’s third Elizabethan novel following the exploits of Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, taking the reader to cathedral city of Canterbury in 1584. It is midsummer and with the fear of plague in London, many are fleeing for the countryside.
still in London, Bruno is approached for help by a beautiful woman
accused of murder. She is Sophie, whom we met in the first Bruno book, Heresy
- a young woman Bruno still carries a torch for. Her much older
husband, Edward Kingsley, has been found among Canterbury Cathedral’s
cloisters with his head beaten in. If Sophie is caught she will surely
be put to death.
Bruno agrees to travel with her to
Canterbury to try to clear her name, and at the same time to do a little
snooping for Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster for Elizabeth I. With
the threat of plots against the Queen, there is a fear that
anti-Protestant factions will start a Catholic rebellion using the cult
of Thomas Beckett, murdered in the cathedral four hundred years before.
Kingsley’s murder looks disturbingly similar.
brings Elizabethan England to life – the hectic market place, the
superstitious townsfolk and the conniving cathedral clerics. As the body
count starts to climb, Bruno is kept busy, stealing secret documents,
counterfeiting keys and hiding out in the crypt. With the law in the pay
of the chillingly suspicious Canon Langworth, it is not surprising that
Bruno is arrested and finds himself struggling to save himself from the
gallows as well as uncovering the real perpetrator. A ripping good yarn
with an ending full of surprises just as one would expect.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue Link: Sacrilege
About the Author
S. J. Parris is the pseudonym of author and journalist Stephanie Merritt.
S J Parris' official website
S J Parris - Sacrilege