Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sacrilege by S J Parris

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.

While 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.

Parris 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

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