DATE READ: April 2011
NOTES: Giordano Bruno is an Italian ex-communicated monk who escaped from the Inquisition to France and then on to England in 1583. He has rejected much traditional religious thinking and his heretic philosophy goes beyond Copernicus. With his friend Philip Sidney he travels to Oxford – ostensibly to debate with their senior don but also to seek out a lost book of Hermetic writings. As a further complication Sir Francis Walsingham has inveigled him into looking out for anti-Elizabeth sentiments among the Oxford academics. While in Oxford some murders occur and Bruno finds himself in the role of investigator.
One of my problems with this book was the characters – none were especially prepossessing. Among the Oxford academics there was little differentiation and they all become merged in my mind. However the pace picked up towards the end and the final denouement was exciting if not credible. Why do the villains admit and explain what they have done? They don’t do this in real life but it happens again and again in books and films.