©1985 Anne Perry; (P)2006 Recorded Books
"Davina Porter, a performer par excellence....She moves the story forward and turns in her usual stellar presentation." (AudioFile)
I am a retired Court Reporter and I LOVE books. All kinds of books but my favorites are mysteries and period books. I like civil war books and some biographies.
It's so great to read something that is interesting and holds my attention without a lot of obscene language and sexually explicit scenes. The author is so very talented and I love the characters she has invented. I don't hesitate to recommend her work to anyone.
I love the Pitt series which I got back into after reading Monk. Anne Perry's portrayal of Victorian England is utterly marvelous not to forget that each book has an intriguing story line and outstanding character development. "Bluegate Fields" like the other Perry novels causes the reader to get one's head glued to the the ear bugs. You just keep anticipating the next moment in the story.
Many well deserved accolades to Davina Porter. She is my favorite female narrator; I have never heard a woman do a man's voice as well as she does.
This book like all others in the series is a must read.
Self-admitted lazy reader who delights in listening to audiobooks!
This was my least favorite of this series so far. There were parts of the story where I felt Perry spent too much time and detail in the telling and then there were other key elements of the story that felt like they were just slipped into the tale.
Some reviewers have claimed that this book is a great read in part because it does not contain swear words or explicit depictions of sex. I find that point of view shocking. This book is about a 16 year old boy who has been taken advantage of sexually by a trusted adult, given an STD (syphilis-which was incurable in those days and resulted in a horrible death) and then murdered and tossed in a sewer to be eaten by rats in order to conceal the facts. The boys father would rather railroad one of the servants than seek the truth because "quality" people don't have problems like these. We also take an excursion into the world child prostitution. I find all these issues far more upsetting and vile than a few swear words and/or a frank discussion of sex between two consenting adults. What I am saying is that the subject matter of this particular installment of this series is particularly dark and Perry examines the issues with particular minuteness. I found it too dark and depressing for my current mood. Also, just as an aside, the police work is particularly odd and poorly structured. It's never clear to me why Pitt believes that the tutor is guilty initially. We're told that Pitt questions him extensively on general principals, that he tells the father there's no evidence of impropriety, and then suddenly they are both convinced that he did it. Why? The same goes for the testimony of the younger son. He says the tutor helped him up from a fall and suddenly both the father and Pitt are convinced that there's been inappropriate touching. Why? It's easy enough to understand why the father believes it, he's a pompous jerk who's desperate to believe anything that will avoid scandal and doesn't care at all what really happened to his son. But why does Pitt believe it?
In summary, while I've read all the other books up to this point in the series and enjoyed them to greater or lesser degree, this one is far too dark and depressing for me. Additionally, the police work is poor and the logical chain non existent, which is frustrating (it's occurred before in the series, but other points outweighed my irritation over it in the past, but for me this book has no other redeeming qualities). I don't recommend this one, unless you have an interest in the issues it explores-Perry as always does an excellent job presenting them.
If they were up for a difficult subject.
The examination of the body.
The phrasing and the pace.
Modern day issues given the Victorian treatment.
Well done, glad to see Anne Perry tackle just about anything. More!
These mysteries are addictive and this one did not disappoint. The brilliant narration only added to the story. Step back to the 1880s in all its beauty and ugliness, guided by the endearing characters Anne Perry created in Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, Emily and the intrepid Aunt Vespatia.
I love old fashioned mysteries and love books set in this time period. Not my favorite subject matter but I really like this series over all! Love the narration!
I prefer urban/para romance right now for the fantasy aspect, but I listen to other genres as well.
I think the fact that Ms. Perry, for the first time, took the story straight to the upper class as the primary suspects right away because the boy was obviously upper class was really interesting. Yes in past books, they have been suspects and criminals, this was an obvious upper class issue from the start.
More toward the end. The author is good at winding up these books with more and more detail until the climax at the end.
Davina Porter is incredible. One of my favorite narrators
No. This is just a solid mystery book.
These are very good books. Solid writing, good character development, immersive realistic world. You really feel like you are in Victorian London. You feel the difference between the London classes. I would recommend these to anyone who likes historical or regular mysteries.
This novel was more interesting to me for the side issues that it brought up, than for the main plot itself. The mystery of a young boy's death and sexual abuse is at question, and Inspector Pitt meets resistance on all sides in finding the uncomfortable answers. As the author sometimes does, comments on social issues are made including homosexuality and equality in the justice system. It is an important message to remember today, that everyone deserves an unbiased investigation and a fair trial, whatever their social class, employment, or personal habits. The question of homosexuality was more indelicately treated, and it seemed to me that more often than not "homosexuality" was taken as a synonym for "homosexual abuse of children". I believe this was written in the 1970's, so maybe we should forgive the author this clumsy oversight as an artifact of the times; but it stood out to me as a mischaracterization, and ironic in a book whose secondary message was unbiased treatment and fairness. Overall, the plot was good and a little more who-dunnit than some of her other novels ... the evidence and all the characters and motivations are there from early in the story, and it is only for the reader to unravel them. Often Perry's novels rely on last minute plot twists that would be impossible for the reader to have known or understood, making it impossible to guess the outcome of the mystery before the crucial information comes to light. The narration was, as always, excellent. Davina Porter is a master, and brings a very human touch to all of the characters.
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