Heresy by S.J.Parris
Published by Harper Collins
3rd March 2011
In Elizabeth’s England, true faith can mean bloody murder…
OXFORD, 1583. A PLACE OF LEARNING AND MURDEROUS SCHEMES.
England is rife with plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and return the country to the Catholic faith. Defending the realm through his network of agents, the Queen’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham works tirelessly to hunt down all traitors.
His latest recruit is Giordano Bruno, a radical thinker fleeing the Inquisition, who is sent undercover to Oxford to expose a Catholic conspiracy. But he has his own secret mission at the University – one that must remain hidden at all costs.
When a series of hideous murders ruptures close-knit college life, Bruno is compelled to investigate. And what he finds makes it brutally clear that the Tudor throne itself is at stake…
The Giordano Bruno series is now on it's fourth book, with Treachery being published last year but I've only just discovered it myself, due to a kindle bargain of 99p which prompted me to download Heresy whilst on holiday. As a result, I now have books two, three and four sitting here waiting to be read.
For those who don't usually pick up historical fiction, can I start by saying that there is not a dry, boring page throughout this book. Whilst it is firmly set in Elizabethan England, Heresy romps along, is full of twists and turns, good guys and bad guys, and a few horrific murders to make it a total page-turner.
Our hero, Giordano Bruno is a former Italian monk, who due to his reading matter, has had to flee the only place he has ever been able to call home. Having lived on the streets trying to escape from his persuers, he has come to England to help Queen Elizabeth hunt out those who want to remove her from the throne.
Religious turmoil is key here, from those who embrace the new faith, to those who secretly remain firmly Catholic, and it is Bruno's task to find those who covert what has past and bring them to justice. At Oxford University though, there is clearly someone who has more to prove and a series of grisly murders occur, right under Bruno's nose, but can he find the killer before it is too late?