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.
When a new book in a series I read is about to come out, I frequently reread the last entry (or even the entire series) so that I will have all the events leading up to the new entry clear in my mind. I wasn't sure I wanted to reread "Pirate King," but since Garment of Shadows didn't appear on Audible the same day that it appeared on Amazon in hardback, I was feeling I might explode with anticipation. So I thought to myself, "Maybe Pirate King wasn't really as bad as I remember. I'll re-listen to it while I'm waiting for 'Garment.'" Well, Pirate King WAS as bad as I had remembered it. I listened for about an hour and then turned it off again. So I was a little worried. I mean, I never would have believed that Laurie R. King could have written anything as bad as PK. Did she have a stroke? Is she on some new and horrible cholesterol drug that has destroyed her mind?
I was worried.
Well, put your minds at rest. I still don't know what happened with Pirate King, but it was apparently just temporary. Garment of Shadows is back in the groove. The plot is good and there is plenty of mystery. Mary gets to exercise her considerable tenacity and ingenuity. There is plenty of Holmes. There are subsidiary characters in this book that we can actually like. Danger abounds.
One strange thing. In some of the Mary Russell books, we get sections written from Holmes's point of view. That is true in this book too. In previous books, Jenny Sterlin narrated both those parts of the book from Mary's POV and those from Holmes's POV. But in this book, they chose to get a second narrator to narrate those sections which are from Holmes's point of view. I've gotten used to Holmes's voice the way Jenny Sterlin does it, and the new narrator's voice for him is quite different, so it was sort of a shock. Even more strange is the fact that when the story is told from Mary's point of view, there is still dialog in which Holmes speaks, and this is still spoken by Sterlin. So we have two very different voices for Holmes in the same recording. I suspect many people are going to hate this. I didn't hate it, but I did think it was entirely unnecessary. We've gotten used to Sterlin's performance of Holmes's voice over many books. It wasn't broken. It didn't need to be fixed.
So finally: I recommend this book highly. Thanks Mrs. King. I loved your new book.