It has been a long eight years, waiting for the return of Thomas Cromwell. Sometimes I have felt as Cardinal Wolsey did as he writhed on his deathbed, longing for Thomas to come back, wanting to believe his arrival might be imminent, while an unctuous servant offers false hope: “You know Cromwell, the devil does not delay him—if he says he is on the road he will be here.”
And here, at last, he is, in The Mirror & the Light, the third volume of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy that began with Wolf Hall in 2009 and continued seamlessly with Bring Up the Bodies in 2012. Both novels received the Booker Prize. I suspect Ladbrokes will be offering the shortest odds in history on Mantel making the trifecta with this novel.