Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands is caught off guard one night in 1933 by a phone call from a distressed boy named Jackie Drummond, who just might be the illegitimate son Joe never knew he had....
©2012 Barbara Cleverly (P)2012 AudioGO
Narrative makes the world go round.
Much has changed in Sandilands. We find a career promoted Joe in 1933, with both Cleverly's prose and her packaging of the historical fiction detective formula much better than early entries in the series.
As in other similar series, character is built up over novels - so perhaps the characterization would not be as pleasing if you jump into the series here, in book 10. Other than that, it could be a stand-alone listen.
Cleverly's early novels all contained what seemed like one or two obligatory romantic scenes - - in these the dialogue would be weaker and the scene just, well, clumsy. This is a little better on that account.
If you're a fan of crime fiction featuring screenplay-like action, adventure and violence, this won't please. It's mostly the quieter type of mystery often found in British and Brit set crime fiction, with a bit of bravado at the end. Sandilands' protege (spelled Dorcus?) returns and becomes a bit of a Maise Dobbs type.
Are there "preposterous circumstances" as another listener suggests? Well, it is crime FICTION, but the theme of this mystery is not so far fetched, then or now. Compared to most in the genre (and even in this series) it was topical - although the 21st century version of these crimes is better disguised and conducted in regions other than the western world. Even LeCarre has used the theme. You do need to put up with "By God, this is England, and we won't stand for it!" - but that sounds OK by that part of the story.
Narrator Prebble is much easier on my ears than Terry Wale (Sorry, fans of Terry Wale; I know he's talented, but his narration grates on me.) Prebble can make the lapse into "by God, this is England" dialogue palatable.
Ranks right up at the top. I am a great fan of the author and the series.
The scene in the graveyard. Satisfying end to a legal problem.
Simon Prebble is such a great reader. He never appears to be reading the book, rather he makes one feel like one is there!
I am a great fan of the author. Her characters are interesting and well fleshed out. The places where the books take place are well depicted and I enjoy the historical detail. The twists and turns of her plots are most clever. Always love the surprises.
While I have enjoyed previous Joe Sandilands novels, I was not a fan of the narrator, Terry Wales. Simon Prebble brings a needed gravitas to the books and I hope he continues to be the narrator.
While I found this story engrossing, I couldn't give it a five star rating because the author leaves numerous plot points unaddressed or unanswered. Not wanting to include spoilers in this review, just let me say that events that have sinister implications should not just be swept under the rug to move a story forward. Early on in the book, someone attempts to break into Sandiland's apartment to recover an item that plays an important part in the story. But, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that the staff of the entity supposedly trying to find the item did not actually know it existed or its significance. Later, toward the end, it appears that one of the main characters had been aware of some of the activities of the bad guys for the entire book, but no one ever challenges that character about this.
I do plan on continuing with the series but hope the author pays more attention to the overall story in the future.
The storyline is over the top. To specify why would be something of a spoiler.
Found a credible reason for the boys' disappearances.
The last one, because it was over.
Not really. Period atmosphere, maybe.
Some of the narrator's phrasing was off; enough to make me notice and take me out of the story,and I felt that he could've added more 'drama' to much of the story - the earlier part anyway (I didn't notice so much near the very end).
He was good at the Sussex-type accents tho'.
I feel bad criticising since I'm no actor,but normally I don't really notice the narrators,if that makes sense?
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