This is the second book of the Matthew Shardlake series and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. It´s the year 1540 and this time around Shardlake has to solve the mystery of greek fire for Cromwell, a weapon, which he desperately needs to find to bring himself back in the king´s favor. A lot is at stake and Shardlakes life is more than once in danger.
There is something I have to admit. I suck at reading book series. It just seems like I´m not able to get past the first few books of a series, which means that I stopped reading Harry Potter after the fourth book, Thursday Next after the second book and Pendergast after the seventh book. It seems like I´m loosing interest in the characters and their stories at one point and I certainly never felt the urge to read all the books of a series in a row.
An then there comes Master Shardlake along and after finishing a novel of this series I feel the urge to read the next one right away. And this isn´t because of the stories of the novels (admittedly the story of Dark Fire is at times too cluttered and to drawn out) and it isn´t because of the historical backdrop, that C.J. Sansom depicts so explicitly. The great strength of these novels lies in its characters. I simply adore Shardlake and his sidekick Jack Barak. These two couldn´t be more different, yet they are forming that strong bond of friendship and mutual trust and I enjoyed every minute of being with them. And I guess that is the reason why I feel the need to read the subsequent novel of the series: I just miss the characters.
Thankfully there are another four Shardlake novels that I will be able to enjoy and I´m so looking forward to it.