Books

Shardlake: Heartstone

CJ Sansom

A thrilling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on CJ Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime novel.

Summer 1545, and Shardlake heads to Portsmouth on a case assigned to him by Catherine Parr. As the city and surrounding waters turn its attention to war, events come to a head on King Henry's flagship, The Mary Rose.

Shardlake: Revelation

CJ Sansom (and others)

Shardlake returns in this atmospheric BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of the fourth novel in C. J. Sansom’s bestselling Tudor crime series.

Spring, 1543. London’s streets are filled with preachers; strange signs and portents are seen everywhere; and young men, maddened by differing interpretations of the Bible, are drawn into dangerous fundamentalism.

The family of one such man, Adam Kite, has sought help from lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Adam is suffering from religious mania, and is being held in Bedlam for his own safety. But Shardlake is distracted from the case when his friend Roger Elliard is found brutally murdered – the victim of a serial killer inspired by the Book of Revelation.

Archbishop Cranmer asks Shardlake to conduct a secret investigation: no word of the bloodshed must reach the King as one of the dead men was close to Catherine Parr, Henry’s latest romantic obsession and (like Cranmer) a supporter of religious reform.

With the help of trusty sidekick Barack, Shardlake embarks on his most dangerous investigation yet, as he tries to protect Adam and prevent the killer from fulfilling his unholy mission...

This thrilling fourth instalment of the 'Shardlake' series stars Justin Salinger as Shardlake, with Bryan Dick as Barak. Duration: 2 hours 10 mins approx.

Shardlake: Sovereign

CJ Sansom (and others)

A thrilling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on the third novel in C. J. Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime series featuring hunchback lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake.

Autumn, 1541. Henry VIII, accompanied by his young bride Catherine Howard, has embarked on a Great Progress from London to York, to establish his power and authority with his rebellious subjects in the North and receive their oaths of loyalty.

Shardlake, sent ahead of the 3000-strong procession, is in the city to help prepare legal petitions for the King – and to undertake a delicate clandestine mission for Archbishop Cranmer. Sir Edward Broderick, a dangerous conspirator imprisoned in York Castle, is being transferred to the Tower of London for interrogation, and it is up to Shardlake and his faithful assistant Barak to ensure he gets there safe and well.

But the death of a glazier sees the duo drawn into a murder investigation, a treasonous plot and a secret that threatens to bring down the royal family…

Starring Justin Salinger as Shardlake and Bryan Dick as Barak, this gripping third instalment of the 'Shardlake' series is a compelling murder mystery and a deeply evocative portrait of the turbulent Tudor world.

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.
Tensions are running high in the city, and soon Shardlake is called to investigate a suspicious death - and stumbles upon a daring plot that has the potential to shake England to its core.

CJ Sansom's 'Shardlake' series has sold over two million copies, and this atmospheric dramatisation starring BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries) brings his début novel to electrifying life. Fast-paced and suspenseful, it is both an engrossing murder mystery and a brilliantly realised portrayal of Tudor England. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.

Shardlake: Dark Fire

CJ Sansom (and others)

A gripping BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on the second novel in C. J. Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime series.

Summer, 1540. It has been three years since the terrible events at Scarnsea monastery, and lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake is living a quiet life in London – until a summons from Cromwell sees him embarking on another dangerous secret assignment.

Someone has stolen the last barrel of 'Greek Fire': a legendary, highly potent incendiary weapon thought lost since the fall of Constantinople. Shardlake is tasked with tracking it down – and he must move quickly, for Cromwell is out of favour with the King and is relying on the precious substance to save his skin.

But Shardlake has another, equally urgent case to deal with – defending an orphan girl, Elizabeth Wentworth, who is accused of murdering her young cousin. Aided by Cromwell's man, Barak, Shardlake must race against time to solve both cases, for the fates of both Cromwell and Elizabeth depend on him…

Winner of the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award, Dark Fire is the second thrilling instalment in the 'Shardlake' series. This atmospheric crime drama, starring Justin Salinger as Shardlake, Bryan Dick as Barak and Robert Glenister as Thomas Cromwell, features deception, dark secrets, captivating characters and a vibrant historical setting. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.

Shardlake: Dissolution

CJ Sansom (and others)

A thrilling BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation based on CJ Sansom's bestselling Tudor crime novel.

Winter, 1537. Henry VIII has declared himself Supreme Head of the Church, and instructed his chief minister Thomas Cromwell to dissolve England's religious houses and seize their wealth. But Cromwell's plot to bring down the abbeys has hit a snag – one of the King's Commissioners has been found brutally murdered in Scarnsea monastery, on the south coast of Kent. If news of the killing were to get out, the consequences could be disastrous.

Desiring a quick, discreet result, he sends his trusted lawyer-detective, Matthew Shardlake, to investigate. However, as Shardlake interviews the prime suspects and delves deeper into the mysteries of Scarnsea, it soon becomes clear that the case will not be as simple to solve as he had hoped. Which of the terrified monks is the murderer? And can Shardlake catch him before he strikes again?

CJ Sansom's 'Shardlake' series has sold over two million copies, and this atmospheric dramatisation starring BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries) brings his début novel to electrifying life. Fast-paced and suspenseful, it is both an engrossing murder mystery and a brilliantly realised portrayal of Tudor England. Duration: 2 hours 30 mins approx.

Biography

CJ Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D. in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. He lives in Sussex.