Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
I quit three hours from the end. However a worthy story this is -- and it is, it's a fascinating topic, a little-known issue from Victorian times, and interesting in light of contemporary issues with the popularity of unregulated "natural" remedies of all kinds -- I just couldn't deal with it anymore. If I had to listen to one more minute of narrator Ralph Lister's overwrought and agonizing reading of paragraph after paragraph of the suffering of people who are coming off addiction to narcotic drugs, I was gonna need some Prozac myself. Sheesh!! Too much, way too much!!
How many times, and out of how many difference character's mouths, do we have to be told about the harmful effects of opium -- followed by equally repetitive explanations about how essential it is, especially for poor people who have no other way of alleviating pain? Over and over and over.... I get it!
Part of the problem is that this isn't a "William Monk" book, not really -- it's an Oliver Rathbone book, Rathbone the lawyer, so it's more of a legal "thriller" (that doesn't even begin to thrill). I love the 'Monk' character, I like the books where he's solving mysterious crimes in foggy London town, I love the interaction with the spirited Hester, I love her tales of what happened in the Crimea. I don't love listening to the whole story first, then having it repeated, over and over and over, through this witness, then that, in the apparent endless recounting of the jury trial.
Part of it is, for a lawyer as well experienced as is the venerable Oliver Rathbone, there's no way in Gd's green earth that he'd fall into open pits of despair, over and over and over, when one witness or another fails to say exactly what he wanted them to say. In spite of what we're told, no lawyer is going to express that kind of anxiety over one trial in his career, let alone one witness. It's just silliness to suggest that he/she would.
Overwrought, that's what this book is. Too many emotions, too extreme to be believed, and with that supremely frenzied and agitated narrator? Whew. Couldn't finish it.
I like Anne Perry's books. Just not this one.
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