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Sacrilege: A Novel Audiobook, by S. J. Parris Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: S. J. Parris Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Giordano Bruno Series Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9780307969729
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (592 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century England and centered on the highly secretive cult of Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name.
In the city that was once England's greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno begins to uncover unsuspected secrets that point to the dead man being part of a larger and more dangerous plot in the making. He must turn his detective's eye on history—on Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body—in order to solve the crime.
As Bruno's feelings for Sophia grow more intense, so does his fear that another murder is about to take place—perhaps his own. But more than Bruno's life is at stake in this vividly rendered, impeccably researched, and addictively page-turning whodunit—the stability of the kingdom hangs in the balance as Bruno hunts down a brutal murderer in the shadows of England's most ancient cathedral. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Parris interweaves historical fact with psychological insight as Bruno, a humanist dangerously ahead of his time, begins his quest to light the fire of enlightenment in Europe. Publishers Weekly, starred review

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelleandderek | 2/13/2014

    " Fantastic read, with great adventure and likeable characters! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trina | 1/19/2014

    " Loved it! The central character, Bruno, is an enigmatic and intriguing sleuth in this Elizabethan murder mystery that has some great twists and turns and a finale that has you holding your breath until almost the very end. Can't wait for the next installment! One word of warning though, I would read the preceding books first as I think you get a better sense of Bruno's background and character from them, which I didn't feel came out sufficiently in Sacrilege. Don't get me wrong, it's fine as a standalone read, but I found it all the more enjoyable from having read about his two previous adventures, especially given the act that we once again meet the recalcitrant Sophia again. I have to confess I finished the book thinking, ah, Bruno, when will you learn... But all the while eagerly looking forward to their next (I hope inevitable) encounter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corky | 1/7/2014

    " Okay, by mistake I read this book before I read the others. I didn't realize it was part of a series until I had started it. So, I thought I would read a few pages just to see if I'd like it and if so, I'd read the other books first. Then, once I started it - I couldn't put it down. (I just hope it won't ruin books 1 and 2 for me.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rene | 12/28/2013

    " My least favorite of the three so far, Bruno was flat and a little pathetic and I was quite bored throughout the whopping 425 pages. The author's style did not shine, the twists were predictable and the scenery, although wordy, did not penetrate for me. I'm not even slightly interested in reading about his escapades to come in Paris, which is sad. :( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsey | 10/11/2013

    " The best of the three so far! Very gripping, and easy to follow, despite the numerous threads in the mystery. Bruno can be slightly naive and infuriating sometimes, but I suppose that's part of his charm. Looking forward to the next one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rose75 | 5/19/2013

    " This is the third in the series. This one did surprise me and I look forward to more in this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Coleen | 3/17/2013

    " I liked this book. Should have paid more attention when I downloaded it to listen to that it was #3 in a series. Elizabethan era mystery. WHy is it almost always an ex-member of the Church who solves the mystery? Very enjoyable and I would recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthiaj | 3/6/2013

    " Why won't they give us half stars? This really should be 4 1/2. I thought the plot was just the tiniest bit too involved (if a mystery can be so) but like the characterizations. I am looking forward to the publication of the next in the series since all three of these were quite well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry | 7/30/2012

    " Another fun entry in the Giordano Bruno mystery series. Lots of political intrigue and dark-and-stormy-night action, complete with dark monks haunting in the shadows of the cathedral. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 7/15/2012

    " Fantastic book,a little surprise.Once I started reading I couldn't put it down.Fantastic when you discover a book like this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 4/26/2012

    " This was a good book, nice mystery, well written. The ending led into the next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veronica | 4/17/2012

    " I enjoyed this novel with its fast paced plot and excellent characters. Parris has an excellent writing style with good dialogue as well as sticking to the plot instead of adding pages of fill. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicholas | 4/1/2012

    " Brilliant. Every bit as good as C J Sansome if not better... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 3/24/2012

    " Usually not a good idea to start a series in the middle, the author does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed on Bruno's history and adventures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trinity | 3/22/2012

    " I'm not usually a mystery reader, but this series has been a great guilty pleasure for me, combining medieval history with suspense and an engaging protagonist. "

About the Author

S.J. Parris is the pen name of Stephanie Merritt who began reviewing books for national newspapers while she was reading English literature at Queens’ College, Cambridge. After graduating, she went on to become Deputy Literary Editor of the Observer in 1999. She continues to work as a feature writer and critic for the Guardian and the Observer and from 2007-2008 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates program on issues in contemporary arts and politics at London’s Soho Theatre. She has appeared as a panelist on various Radio Four shows and on BBC2’s Newsnight Review, and is a regular chair and presenter at the Hay Festival and the National Theatre. She has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award, the Orange New Writing Award, and the Perrier Comedy Award. She lives in the south of England with her son.

About the Narrator

John Lee is the winner of numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. His has twice won acclaim as AudioFile’s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.