Heresy

By S.J. Parris
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780767932523, 448pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Compact Disc, Hardcover

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Description

When fugitive Italian monk Giordano Bruno—philosopher, magician, and heretical scientist—arrives in London, he’s only one step ahead of the Inquisition. An undercover mission for Queen Elizabeth I and her spymaster provides added protection. Officially, Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe at Oxford University; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen. But when his mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly deaths and the charms of a mysterious but beautiful young woman, he realizes that somewhere within Oxford’s private chambers lurks a brutal killer. . .




About the Author

S. J. Parris is the pen name of Stephanie Merritt, a contributing journalist for various newspapers and magazines, including the Observer and the Guardian.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. When Giordano Bruno is recruited as a spy by Sir Francis Walsingham, he hesitates. Walsingham tells him “whenever you feel the wrench between conscience and duty, your care should always be for the greater good.” Yet Bruno’s conscience remains troubled throughout by the double life he has to lead. Does this make him a more appealing narrator? To what extent is a spy morally compromised by the fact that he must maintain a deception? Is Walsingham right—is the greater good always more important than individuals? 




Praise For Heresy

“A vigorous philosophical thriller. . . . Bruno commands our attention and our sympathy as any likable heretic should.” —The Washington Post Book World

Heresy is a must-read for every fan of historical thrillers. . . . Giordano Bruno turns out to be that rare hero, charismatic and nuanced enough to impel an encore, and to leave us asking for more.” —Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club

“Move over C. J. Sansom, S.J. Parris has arrived…. Brilliant.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
 
“An intelligent and nail-biting debut.” —The Daily Beast
 
Heresy has everything—intrigue, mystery, excellent history and haunting sense of place.  The beginning of a wonderful new detective series.”  —Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth

“Set in the time of Elizabeth I, Heresy could happily follow on Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall about Henry VIII and his relationship with Thomas Cromwell. Both evoke the tensions, turbulence and cruelty of Tudor England.” —The Oxford Times
 
“The famous scientist Giordano Bruno, erupts with volcanic force from the pages of S. J. Parris’s spellbinding debut novel, Heresy. Blending the philosophical sleuthing skills of Brother Cadfael with the magic sorcery of Voldemort, Bruno cracks the secret code, unraveling a church conspiracy as deep and dark as that in a Dan Brown novel.” —Katherine Neville, bestselling author of The Eight and The Fire
 
“Grafts a powerful murder mystery onto the novel of academia. . . . Complex and carefully controlled. . . . Readers who like to immerse themselves in a good tale . . . will undoubtedly enjoy this book.” —The Washington Times
 
“A splendid, unputdownable whodunit.” —Edward Rutherfurd, author of London
 
“As colorful, multi-layered, and criminally creative a story as any mystery lover could wish for. . . . From Cobbett the gatekeeper to the complex Bruno himself, Parris pours extraordinary care and human insight into her creations.” —Historical Novels Review
 
“This is a mystery of religion and politics at its best. . . . [A] stimulating blend of philosophy, religion and the academic life.” —Curled Up With a Good Book
 
Parris succeeds where much historical fiction fails in making her characters enlightened rather than medieval village idiots. The collegiate infighting could be from Lucky Jim.” —The Observer (London)
 
“Atmospheric and well-written. . . . Bruno is a clever choice of hero because of the way he seems not merely modern but actually to stand outside of history. . . . Fascinatingly sincere.” —The Guardian (London)
 
Heresy is a riveting read. Rich in both historical detail and ingenious twists, S. J. Parris has created a character in Giordano Bruno that will endure. A true rival to C. J. Sansom.” —Sam Bourne, bestselling author of The Righteous Men
 
“The Eco-echoes are resonant enough to lend Heresy more than a pinch of [The Name of the Rose’s] magic. . . . Parris paces her yarn perfectly.” —The Telegraph (London)
 
“Fascinating . . . The period is incredibly vivid and the story utterly gripping. Cadfael can't hold a candle to this.” —Conn Iggulden, New York Times bestselling author of The Dangerous Book for Boys
 
“A rich, dark and utterly gripping tale, paced to perfection and populated with a glorious cast of characters.” —Mark Mills, bestselling author of The Savage Garden


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