This is was one of the most exciting books I have ever listened to. Simon Prebble does a perfect job of the voices and brings the whole story alive.
In many ways this is almost a gothic novel - the air of brooding and unknown evil hanging over the Essex marshes and the little village of Furnham and the house River's Edge makes the book electric with suspense. I couldn't stop listening to it. Rutledge has to trace the murders back to their beginning over 20 years before the start of the murder which attracts Rutledge's attention. From a man coming to Scotland Yard to confess to a muder he didn't commit, Rutledge must finally go back over 20 years to find the first murder committed by this serial killer. Is is amazing to watch him untangle it all.
The solution to the murders will come as a big surprise and you will have a hard time figuring out. It is amazing the way Inspector Rutledge puts his case together and all the strange twists and turns it takes. With all the driving back and forth he does, I wonder the man gets any sleep at all.
The plotting is excellent and bit by bit we uncover the history of this reclusive town on the River Hawking. Each character is well fleshed out and we can picture them in their cottages so vivid is the characterization of each villagel Inspector Rutledge meets.
I wish Audible would publish all his books in audio but I am going back and reread all the books in the series from the start.
I really enjoy this series. I like Sebastian St. Cyr and his exploits amongs the dives of regency England, as well as the low life of the High born. All in all a great read. When a book is read by Davina Porter you know you are in for an enjoyable listening experience. She is one of the truly great readers.
The mystery is tied up druidic rituals and archaeological exploration of a site associated, perhaps, with King Arthur. The amateur archaeologist is a female and she is found murdered and her two nephews have vanished. There are political implications since pamphlets against the Regent are circulating and rumors that King Arthur will return to save his country from the Hannovers are widespread. Sebastian and his wife Hero are in the thick of this mystery.
I have one caveat however. This is book 7 of a fascinating series. I have read the first 6 books since they were not available on Audio ( I hope this will be remedied) but there is secondary mystery which is woven througout the series. It is the mystery of Sebastian's parentage--- Lord St. Cyr is not his father although he is the heir to the title. Each book reveals a little more about his real parentage in addition to the larger mystery and murder which is the feature of each book.
The books trace Sebastian's search for his mother (who is alive) and his effort to learn from her the identity of his real father.. The hunt for the facts about his parentage starts in the first book and each successive book adds a little more information about his birth. So in that sense by starting with Book 7 the reader will miss out on some of the hints about his parentage and the tangled relations with his relatives - esp. Kat.
But that should not discourage anyone from getting this audio book as it is a great read and a fascinating story peopled with very interesting characters -- one can only hope the early books will also appear in Audio.
If you like historical mysteries don't miss this book.
This was one of the most riveting historical mysteries I have listened to in a long time. The wealth of detail about the Ottoman Empire and life in Istambul really makes this book come alive. I love historical mysteries that really make you live in the period and this is one of them. The detail is marvelous and adds to the depth of the book. While at first I didn't much care for the narrator, the more I listened the more I felt he was just right for the book and his ability to vocally differentiate the various characters in the book is really marvellous. Highly recommended.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
First Simon Vance does a good job with his narration, always does. I thought he did an excellent job with the voices, especially differentiating the young doctor's Philadelphian accent from that of the English characters.
I rather wish that the author of the other review had given some examples of historical errors. I didn't catch anything glaring although I did have some questions. I gave some thought to the estate being passed by inheritance but I just assumed that someone earlier had barred the entail on the estate in question. The book felt more like Andrew Taylor's Anatomy of a Ghost (also available on Audible) than Anne Perry's mysteries. Anne Perry's books generally take some social justice issue and weaves the mystery around how the issue leads up to the crime or impedes the detection of the crime. This mystery is kept within the framework of 18th century thought and social mores with a bit of a forensic stretch now and then.
There are a couple of rather gruesome post mortem examinations so don't try to listen to this one when eating. If you want to follow up with some true 18th century crimes there are several editions of the Newgate Calendar available for free on line and a great web site called Voices of the Old Bailey.
Although it contains a love story it isn't a genre romance and doesn't follow romance conventions.
Recommended for those who enjoy historical mysteries.