The second book in the Shardlake series was as good as the first. In this the story starts with him being asked to represent a girl accused of the murder of her cousin. She is refusing to speak, and the initial court case almost results with her being pressed, a horrible process of being squashed under weights, as she has refused to speak. All looks desperate, but she gets a two week reprieve from the judge.
The reprieve is from Cromwell, and Shardlake is summonsed to his presence. Cromwell is trying to get hold of a substance called Dark or Greek Fire, an amazing substance that can set fire to any manner of things. Cromwell sees this as a powerful weapon for the Navy and is desperate to get hold of this for the King. But the people who have demonstrated this are reluctant to pass on the secret and others are aware of the substance. Shardlake is thrust into a swirling nest of vipers, with different figure in the court of Henry vying to power and influence. The plot twist and turns and Shardlake tries to find out who knows what, and who is a possible traitor. Interweaved with is is finding out the circumstances of his original case. It all concludes with a really good twist at the end.
Really enjoyed this, and cannot wait to read the next one.