I am back!!! Okay, first of all please accept my apologies for taking an unexpected break; I was down in the dumps and lacking motivation. I sure didn’t feel like reading anything much less writing a review. I had to tell myself that this inconsistency bug must not prevent me from doing what I enjoy so here I am.
Today, I am bringing a short review of a book by C.J Sansom. I never planned to read this book I simply happened on it one day as I stood beside a colleague’s table at work. I asked to read it because I wasn’t reading anything at the time (except Night by Elie Wiesel which I was taking very slowly) and I really needed to review a book-any book. I am glad I chose to read Revelation by C.J Sansom.
A very striking narration set in 16th century London; Revelation packs suspense and rich history served with a dollop of dry humor. It was a page turner because mystery laced the narration of the complex tale. The fourth in a series of books by the author following an intelligent lawyer Mathew Shardlake, revelation brings home some truths about humanity’s depravity.
The story is narrated by Mathew-a very likable character whose practical and strategic thinking is consistent and welcome (to solve murders) in the crazy frenzy of apocalypse prophesies that have besieged London in that era, during the reign of Henry VIII.
Revelation is about a lot of things and so many themes jump at me (fanaticism, religion, lust, fear, envy, avarice, politics, power) as I read but at the core of the story is the curious case of a psychopath who kills one person after the other in the most horrific way; one way more horrific than the last until the very end. It is a tale so brilliantly crafted that the killer’s identity is hidden in plain sight while Mathew, Harsnet and Barak investigate the murders oblivious of the killer’s proximity!
The narration is vivid, the characters memorable and the story cataclysmic as it brings the reader face to face with the stark truth that the human mind can get twisted and it can happen to anyone who is under the belief that his actions are right or just.
The reader would want to know why Adam Kite is bent on praying feverishly and ceaselessly, the character who suddenly believes he is doomed and keeps begging God to give him a sign that he is saved-an act that finally lands him in the Bedlam, a place for the mentally disturbed.
The reader will be intrigued by the killer’s cleverness yet terrified by his evil mind and his audacity to tailor his killing after certain verses in the Bible’s book of revelation. The reader would want to knock Barak in the head for treating his wife shabbily, desire Mathew to find love in Dorothy and wonder at the hypocrisy in religious leaders. Doctor Guy’s admirable bravery at treating all the patients Mathew refers to him will awe the reader but his assistant Piers would make the reader ponder on the likelihood that his cold mien could mean more…
At the end of the book, the reader will breathe a sigh of relief upon sailing through the twists and turns of a story that holds him spellbound, a story that takes on its own life and paints a very disturbing picture of the depth of man’s wickedness.
Did I thoroughly enjoy this book? You bet! Do I recommend you read it? Absolutely! Ten stars out of ten for this compelling read.