The first of Shardlake’s stories. Entertaining, engaging and certainly influenced by Eco’s The Name of the Rose. Although it lacks the erudition of Eco’s masterpiece, it is also a thrilling plot where religion, greed, lust and politics are helplessly entangled. It is pity I could solve half of the mystery quite ahead of the end but it did not spoil the fun, at all! On the contrary.
It is interesting to see how his technique is quite different from another great whodunnit writer, Agatha Christie. In her books even if you know some of the circumstances involving the crime and characters, you never know it all. There is always a piece of withdrawn information that Poirot will only reveal to his audience, and to us as a reader, at the very last moment to the great puzzlement of his listeners and of yourself because without it your solutions for the mystery could only be a guess.
Sansom, on the other hand, drops clues here and there and makes you feel, as a reader, that you actually know more than Shardlake. He takes you to his side and makes you feel that you are the brightest intellect there, when actually is not so much so. Really enjoyable – unputdownable!
Sansom, C.J. (2003) Dissolution. Basingstoke: Macmillan.