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Episode 1

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 Extra

Available for 4 months

It begins with a summons from Queen Catherine Parr: "Master Shardlake, I would welcome your personal counsel on a case..." It ends with the sinking of the warship, the Mary Rose: "So tall, so grand. I was on her when she went down..." In between, lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak find themselves embroiled in two murky investigations - the first involving the "monstrous wrongs" allegedly perpetrated by wealthy cloth merchant Sir Nicholas Hobbey against his young ward, Hugh Curteys; the second concerning the troubled past of a Bedlam inmate called Ellen Fettiplace. A patient for nearly 20 years, Ellen is frightened and lonely - and in love with Shardlake.

The Hobbey-Curteys case leads Shardlake and Barak to Sir Nicholas's estate near Portsmouth, in Hampshire. "And the way to Hampshire lay through West Sussex. Where Ellen came from."

Two mysteries to unravel. A parade of intriguing characters to interview and interrogate - some disdainful of the hunchbacked lawyer; some obstructive and even dangerous; some not at all what they seem... And as Shardlake and his sidekick travel the countryside in their search for the truth, everywhere they see signs of preparations for war. For just across the Channel the French fleet is getting ready to attack.

Justin Salinger and Bryan Dick return as Matthew Shardlake and Jack Barak in Colin MacDonald's atmospheric dramatisation of the best-selling novel by CJ Sansom.

Shardlake ..... Justin Salinger
Barak ..... Bryan Dick
Queen Catherine …. Emily Wachter
Ellen Fettiplace …. Kath Weare
Dyrick …. Philip Bretherton
Goodryke …. Clive Hayward
Sir Richard Rich …. Nicholas Murchie
George Leacon …. Finn den Hertog
Sir Nicholas Hobbey …. David Seddon
Hugh Curteys …. Will Howard
Abigail Hobbey …. Isabella Inchbald
David Hobbey …. Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong
Reverend Seckford …. Neil McCaul
Philip West …. Chris Pavlo
Feaveryear …. Gary Duncan

Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer ..... C. J. Sansom
Dramatist ..... Colin MacDonald
Director ..... David Jackson Young
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2018 Show less


Justin Salinger
Queen Catherine:
Emily Wachter
Ellen Fettiplace:
Kath Weare
Clive Hayward
Sir Richard Rich:
Nicholas Murchie
George Leacon:
Finn den Hertog
Sir Nicholas Hobbey:
David Seddon
Hugh Curteys:
Will Howard
Abigail Hobbey:
Isabella Inchbald
Reverend Seckford:
Neil McCaul
Philip West:
Chris Pavlo
Gary Duncan
CJ Sansom


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