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Before the Poison | [Peter Robinson]

Before the Poison

Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after 25 years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country. Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him - feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder....
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Publisher's Summary

Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after 25 years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.

Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him - feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than 50 years before. The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace. Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.

His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case. But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago - a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.

©2012 Eastvale Enterprises Inc. (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (97 )
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  •  
    Julie Seattle, WA, United States 03-22-12
    Julie Seattle, WA, United States 03-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drivel . . . utter drivel"
    What disappointed you about Before the Poison?

    I have enjoyed all of the Inspector Banks books and find it hard to believe this is written by the author of that series.

    The plot is less than compelling and entirely predictable. And, why oh why do we have to know what every character orders every time they eat at a pub or restaurant? Not only are we told the name of a wine they drink, we also learn that it tastes of currents with an undertone of tobacco. When the protagonist shops for CD's in South Africa, we are given a list of all of his purchases. Each course of every meal eaten at home is also detailed. All of this information does nothing to advance the plot or to give us a deeper understanding of the characters.

    Although I've never read a romance novel, I suspect that the love scenes in this book are better suited to a book from that genre. Here, they are just icky.




    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I just hope it's better than the last two I've listened to.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Lyons and Toby Lennet Moore ’s performances?

    I'll never listen to a Toby Lennet Moore narration again. The story is told from a first-person perspective, and his voicing of the protagonist only makes him more annoying.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Severe disappointment.


    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susie Dexter, MI 06-28-12
    Susie Dexter, MI 06-28-12 Member Since 2008

    SusieQ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow, what book did the other folks listen to?"

    I'm astonished at the negative reviews that have been published for this book! My experience has been totally different. This is not an Inspector Banks series book and shouldn't be approached as one. Peter Robinson offers a great story with wonderful twists and turns, great characters--and why would you object to hearing what people order in a restaurant? I liked learning about new British beers to try. The performance is good--the voices are pleasant, although Toby Lennet Moore pronounces a few things rather oddly, but that's a personal issue for me and probably wouldn't be noticed by other listeners. Moore does have a fair gift for accents and gives life to characters in that fashion. I also enjoyed the voice of Grace in her diary entries and felt that this convention added depth to the characters and the story.

    I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. Robinson is an intelligent author with a good ear for dialogue and the ability to create interesting characters. He's not always worried bout making his characters perfectly likeable but actually mixes personality aspects in each one that make them richer and more real than a less talented author would be able to achieve.

    Don't skip this book because of the negative reviews, please. Make up your own mind!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucido Livonia, NY, United States 03-18-12
    Lucido Livonia, NY, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Boring story, big disappointment to this PR fan"
    What disappointed you about Before the Poison?

    The story went nowhere. Don't want to write a spoiler, but there's no


    What could Peter Robinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I'm a big PR fan. I wish the story had been about Alan Banks, but I do understand that writers get tired of doing the same old same old. This character, however, was just boring and unlikeable. As were all the other characters in the book. WAY too much minute detail (who ordered what for dinner, which wine, which brandy, holy crap these people drink a lot). It felt like filler and I commented to friend that Robinson must have had a word quota he was trying to meet. Not up to his usual standard.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No, the narration by the male was awful. The woman, Susan Lyons, was fabulous. She was the saving grace of the audiobook and after hearing her, I went in search of her other audio work.


    What character would you cut from Before the Poison?

    All of them!


    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Fort Worth, TX, United States 10-30-12
    Mary Fort Worth, TX, United States 10-30-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW! Miss Alan Banks, but this was great!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Before the Poison to be better than the print version?

    As I love the "Kings" English as it was meant to be spoken, loved every word.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Really enjoyed the entire book. I have always enjoyed Mr Robinson's character developement. Discriptions of the country side, the house, weather,and insite into a nurse's experiance in WW ll while based in Indonesia was fascinating


    What does Susan Lyons and Toby Lennet Moore bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Once again the the beauty of the language, the way it should be spoken.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A wonderful story of love, loss, and interesting people.


    Any additional comments?

    Just relax and enjoy everything from Yorkshire to Capetown.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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