Desperately pursuing both investigations, he stumbles across a strange society of astronomers called the Company of Titius who are on a furious search of their own: to discover the long-lost star in the wide black sky. As he digs into their arcane world, their quest begins to merge with his own, and Absey finds himself discovering more than he had ever imagined - not only about spies and murderers but also about celestial numbers and the making of codes; about passions as unnatural as they are obsessive; and about the bonds of family...and the lengths we will go to preserve them.
©2001 Elizabeth Redfern; (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc.; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Historically immaculate...it is as if John le Carre has gone Age of Enlightenment on us...as if Silence of the Lambs has been reset in the Napoleonic era." (Booklist)
"Actor/singer Tim Curry has a beautiful, expressive instrument." (AudioFile)
It took a bit of listening to come to know the characters, but Tim Curry's reading of this intriguing story soon had me hooked. Astronomy, the French revolution, political intrigue, "murder most dire", shady and sad characters, French aristocrats and subtrefuge, all wrapped up in a story set in the back streets and salon's of old London during the days of the French Republic. As you follow the trail of murders, you meet one interesting character after another. Many are not who they first seem to be, adding a wonderful element of unfolding surprise. Curry brings each to life. His French and various English class accents are spot on, and he changes vocal characterizations smoothly. Truly, a tour do force of dramatic reading.
It would have been an OK mystery book if I had read it, but listening to this version was like being there. I've never heard another reader/narrator who did such a great job making you forget that all the voices were coming from one man. I couldn't wait to get back to my iPod to hear how it was going to turn out.
Some books are easier to listen to than others. This book is difficult to follow on tape because of the French names. It is a slow start and had an only mildly satisfying ending. The characters are also difficult to relate to. I never really cared about any of them.
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