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Dark Fire
C.J. Sansom
        It is 1540, and Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty-one years when Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer renowned as "the sharpest hunchback in the courts of England," is pressed to help a friend's young niece who is charged with murder.
        Despite threats of torture and death by the rack, the girl is inexplicably silent. Shardlake is about to lose her case when he is suddenly granted a reprieve - one that will ensnare him again in the dangerous schemes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's feared vicar general. 
        In exchange for two more weeks to investigate the murder, Shardlake accepts Cromwell's assignment to find a lost cache of Dark Fire, an ancient weapon of mass destruction. Cromwell, out of favor since Henry's disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves, is relying on Shardlake's discovery to save his position at court, which is rife with conspiracy
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