DARK FIRE (Amateur Sleuth-Lawyer-England-1500s) - VG Sansom, C. J. – 2nd in series
McMillan, 2004- Hardcover

Matthew Shardlake is asked to defend Elizabeth, a girl accused of killing her cousin. However, she is unwilling to speak at all and is facing torture. But Matthew is approached by Thomas Cromwell and offered a 12-day reprieve for Elizabeth in exchange for Matthew locating Dark Fire, also known as Greek Fire, a substance by which King Henry could destroy enemy navies.

When an author's first book is exceptional, I always worry a bit that their second book will be a disappointment. No worries here. Sansom, again, manages to combine excellent characters, sense of time, place and political intrigue, as well as some good suspense into an excellent book.

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