"A triumph both as detective fiction and as a novel ... superior to Hilary Mantel."--The Independent
Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. The Catholic party focuses its attack on Henry's sixth wife--and Matthew Shardlake's old mentor--Queen Catherine Parr.
The Queen has authored a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner,
so radically Protestant that if it came to the King's attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. Although the secret book was kept hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has inexplicably vanished. Shardlake's investigations take him on a trail that begins among the backstreet printshops of London, but leads him and his trusty assistant Jack Barak into the dark and labyrinthine world of court politics, a world Shardlake swore never to enter again.