The year is 1820 and England has fought its last victorious battle against the French. Rider Sandman, a hero of Waterloo, has finally returned to London to wed his young bride. But instead of being able to settle down to his fame and glory, he finds himself penniless in a country where unemployment and social unrest are raging high, and where men - innocent or guilty - are hung for the merest of crimes. Thus, when the Home Secretary offers him a job as private investigator - to re-open the case of a death-row candidate accused of murder - Sandman readily accepts, as much for the money as for a chance to see justice being done in a country gone to ruins. Soon, however, he is up to his elbows in grisly a murder plot that keeps thickening as Sandman makes his way through gentleman’s clubs and shady taverns, aristocratic mansions and fashionable painters studios, unerringly determined to rescue the innocent young man from the rope. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed...
©2002 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers
Yes but I've only listened to the unabridged version narrated by Jonathan Kebble. I can't imagine this book would be improved by reading the print version when Kebble brings the voices of the characters to life with such aplomb.
Rider Sandman himself would be my favorite however each character brings the story forward in a "can't wait to to turn the page" manner.
This is the first but I'll be looking for more in the future.
Marketing is not my thing but it would mention the gritty life of early 19th century London.
I'm not usually drawn to write a review of books but this on is so fantastic, such a fabulous combination of author and narrator, that I want to shout from the roof tops to everyone...This is a winner.
I've enjoyed the Bernard Cornwell books I've read, but this one, my first audio version, didn't sit right with me.1) I really didn't care for the protagonist, Capt Sandman, or his love interest. At all. Boring, stilted & no depth. There were also huge inconsistencies in behavior & motivation.2) The bad guys were far more interesting than Capt Sandman... which didn't take much.3) The reading of it started to grate on me: the narrator attempted to speak in falsetto for the women's lines & it was almost painful to hear after a while. 4) The book seems to have been written to make some political point about the use of the gallows &, thus, no effort was made to develop the characters.5) I really didn't care for anybody in the story - not even the poor young man falsely accused of murder.Cornwell has written much better books than this & while not everyone can hit a home run each time, this one didn't even cross the pitching mound.
I have been told that I have OCD. Old, Cranky and Dangerous!
There's no one that can surpass Lord Jonathan Keeble. He is without a doubt the best narrator my old ears have ever heard.
Currently a local truck driver who has hours to listen to my audio books. I am hooked, some of my fellow drivers enjoy them also
Interesting, storyline, wellwritten
Ryder the main character and his collected associates all were deep enough to give the story added character.
Mr. Keeble is a reader who can bring the characters to life and adds to the story in a way that you want to keep listening. A class A reader and look forward to more of his works
I felt sad for the innocent girl they hanged I knew she didn't do anything and justice seems to be for the rich only
Of course there won't be any follow stories wish he had written more with these characters in them
After reading the Saxon series decided to give this one a listen, real page turner and excellent narration by Keeble.
TWO LONG SECTIONS USED, WORD FOR WORD, FROM EARLIER IN THE BOOK SENT ME SCURRYING FOR MY MACHINE TO FIND OUT HOW I HAD GOTTEN LOST.
SO DEFINITELY NOT CORRNWELL. BAD PUBLISHER, HURRYING TO GET TO RECORDING?
Both Cornwell and Keeble bring early 19th-century England to life. Through the words - both written and spoken - the chaotic criminal scene of London, the stagnant high society of the British Empire, the desperate citizenry and the devoted hero become very real.
Bernard Cornwell does historical fiction with masterful brush strokes. To me, the thing that sets his writing apart is that he never forgets human beings are always human beings. No matter the time period, the technology available or the large-scale world events playing out around them, individuals have always been motivated by the same things.
Mr. Keeble is a fantastic narrator and I have been a fan of his performances across many different books and audio dramas. He is consistently a marvelous storyteller and his characters - through only slight variation of voice - become individuals all unto themselves. In this book, you can practically feel the noose tightening around your neck as you stand on the trapdoor...
I wish there was a sequel! This story left me wishing for more. Character development was exceptional as expected for Bernard Cornwell's work.
Jonathan Keeble makes them better. Another suspenseful novel by Cornwell with a hero, heroine and sidekick that is well written and well read. Can't wait to dive into his next one.
A good period novel that reminded me of a good Ken Follett novel. Good character development a a real taste and flavor of the times. Cornwell offers a bit more of a hard and graphic look. He describes the foul living conditions of the times as well as he does in battles scenes in his other books.
The narrator does a great job as well. Recommended!
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