Book 11: Sacrilege by S.J. Parris

After an amazing week of reading to catch up and join in with Penguin’s Readarama, I have finished my eleventh book of this year this morning. I was given Sacrilege by my mum, who went to several events about the book in Canterbury (which is the setting of the book) earlier this year. She has been pestering me to read it ever since, telling me it was like CJ Sansom.


I really enjoyed the book, and it can rightly be compared with other historical authors. Set in Queen Elizabeth I’s England, in Summer 1584, the main character is Giordano Bruno, an Italian with an interesting past. He is set on the trail of a murder, trying to clear the name of a girl he has fallen for. This is actually the third in a series by this author, something I didn’t realise before starting. Judging by the juicy references to previous murders solved by Bruno, I can’t imagine it will be long before I seek out this novel’s two predecessors.

Unlike when reading CJ Sansom, I never felt overrun by historical detail, of which there was comparatively little. Although the mystery seemed fairly unsolvable at first, it was quite suddenly unravelled, and I have to say that it left me wanting more. It was quite a light and easy read, but I loved S.J. Parris’s style of writing and her characterisation was great. I am told that the characters are based on actual people in history, something I can’t really comment on because I don’t know any details.

This book was very gripping and only took me two days to read. I will certainly read more of the Giordano Bruno novels when I can get my hands on them, and I would recommend this to any lover of historical crime fiction. Also, if you have never read any historical crime, this would be a great introduction as it wasn’t too heavy on the history.

I would rate Sacrilege 8/10.

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The next part of the challenge can now commence. I’ve caught up. Now I have to try to actually stick to reading a book every week even when I haven’t got much time for reading. Next week promises to be busy. My planned next read is a Crime classic (or so I am told) The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. I don’t know what to expect, but I look forward to telling you about it soon.



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