Monday, November 12, 2012
Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom
I am on page 169 of Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom, an historical crime fiction. The atmosphere in London in 1540, during the reign of King Henry V111, is one of fear, superstition, political and religious intrigue. For several pages the writer's focus has been on finding the stolen formula for Greek Fire also known as Dark Fire, a flaming weapon of mass destruction that even burns in water, used by the Byzantine Empire. The part of the story that really fascinates me is the alleged teen aged murderer, Elizabeth. On page 157, the writer returns the focus to Elizabeth. Matthew Shardlake, Elizabeth's lawyer who is also the narrator of the story, is visiting Elizabeth's family to find out what really happened. One uncle portrays Elizabeth as bookish, a loner with an independent spirit and merry before she moved in with her extended family. The other uncle portrays Elizabeth as a malapert, disobedient, and violent. So did Elizabeth commit murder because she was jealous of her cousins or is she crazy? Or is she innocent?