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OXFORD, 1583. A PLACE OF LEARNING.
AND MURDEROUS SCHEMES.
England is rife with plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and return the country to the Catholic faith. Defending the realm through his network of agents, the Queen’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham works tirelessly to hunt down all traitors.
His latest recruit is Giordano Bruno, a radical thinker fleeing the Inquisition, who is sent undercover to Oxford to expose a Catholic conspiracy. But he has his own secret mission at the University – one that must remain hidden at all costs.
When a series of hideous murders ruptures close-knit college life, Bruno is compelled to investigate. And what he finds makes it brutally clear that the Tudor throne itself is at stake…
Billed as the next Shardlake, it is and it isn't.
Set in Elizabethan England, our hero is an excommunicated Italian heretic: Fra Giordano Bruno. Always only a couple of steps ahead of the Inquisition, he is now in England and soon recruited to be a spy for Walsingham. He is sent to Oxford in the company of Sir Philip Sydney, ostensibly to debate at the University but also to try and uncover a suspected conspiracy.
Pacy with lots of action and twists and turns, I did enjoy it and will read the next in the series at some point, but it didn't draw me in, in the way the Shardlake books do and I didn't warm to the characters in the same way either. Of course, the first book in a series can often take time to get accustomed to. Nearly didn't read Rebus or Terry Pratchett after the first book!
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