In 1921, the bloodied bodies of Colonel Fletcher, his wife and two staff are found in a manor house in Surrey. The police have put the murders down to a violent robbery, but Detective Inspector Madden from Scotland Yard has his own suspicions. In the meantime the killer is plotting his second strike.
©1999 Rennie Airth (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Mysteries written in the 20s or 30s -- or set in the 20s or 30s -- are some of my favorites. Rennie Airth has written a wonderful story, evocative of post WWI era, but introducing modern elements, like a serial killer with psychological problems. The characters are well-drawn, the plot keeps you interested, and a little love story is thrown in for added enjoyment. Christopher Kay does an excellent job narrating, making vaious regional British accents sound believable (at least to an American!) and still making them understandable.
I will definitely be looking for more from Airth.
This book kept me up all night listening. While seemingly a story of gratuitous murder, River of Darkness also explores the theme of how a person's psyche long after a war is over. War, in fact, is never over for some. Airth skillfully weaves together a police investigation, a love story, and a killer's narrative. I highly recommend this book. The narrator was excellent and his regional accents sounded authentic, at least to my untrained ear.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
If you like romances with a bit of detective work thrown in you would probably enjoy this book.
First time, he was adequate.
I though it was trying to ride the fence between romance and mystery/war in order to interest a broader audience. Failed.
River of Darkness exceeded my expectations. I thought I was buying a detective yarn, where a brilliant detective would be paired against a wily and diabolical killer, chasing clue after clue until finally piecing together the mystery. And make no mistake, those elements are strong throughout the book, but at the same time, RoD offers quite a bit more.
Like all the best stories, this is really about living people, not murders. This is somewhat ironic, given that when we first meet him, the protagonist is a man in many respects already dead. Set just a few years after WWI, the echoes of that terrible conflict are still very much present in the world of "River." It seems to stain combatants and non-combatants alike, men and women both.
Despite the grisly subject matter and the sense of ennui that seems to surround so many of the characters when we first meet them, this is ultimately a positive, redemptive book.
Absolutely yes! I would recommend it for anyone who loves mysteries, complex characters, and a powerful story.
I love mysteries and suspenseful books like Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Charles Todd, and Louise Penny, but have read all of those. This was an amazing find and I wish there were more in Airth's series!
I thought it was varied and that he captured a great range of emotion throughout the book, especially for some of the darker moments.
No, I broke it up since I'm in grad school but it became harder and harder to turn it off!!
This is a wonderful mystery and anyone who likes Agatha Christie, Charles Todd, or Louise Penny will love this new series and the depth of these captivating characters. I also hope that Audible makes the 2nd and 3rd books in the series quickly, since only the 1st and 4th have been recorded so far!
A nice if formulaic historical serial killer mystery. Unlike many mysteries, the question isn't whodunnit, but rather when will he be caught and why does he do it? It's an interesting enough premise that suffers a bit with the length of the novel. The perspective shifts between characters occasionally at chapter breaks which was a bit disorienting to listen to. However, the narrator has a pleasantly dry British reading that made it easy to let the story ramble on. Perhaps one of the more unnecessary plot aspects is a tacked on romance between one of the main characters and the village doctor. Not enough time is given to the relationship to let it develop enough that I felt invested. The doctor, while an important character early in the novel, fades out of the plot in the second and third parts, which further derails the attempt at a romantic subplot.
That being said, I did enjoy the book and am interested in reading more of the authors work.
Ronnie Airth. is such a good story teller. the character development is so complete for me and combined with Christopher Key as narrator. makes this one I listen too. over and over.
traveling so much for work. this is lime my bed time story.
I would recommend this audio. I wish Mr Airth had his other books in audio format. with Mr Key.
Yes, good integration on some of the early forensic advancements made by the Scotland Yard.
Yes, once it got going. It was a bit of a slow start but there was enough to keep me wanting to turn it on. Once it got going, about 1/4 way through, I was loving the story.
I really enjoyed where the narration came from the killer. I would have really enjoyed hearing more of his story and was disappointed how we didn't hear much about his family and upbringing in detail until the very end.
Not really, it's not that kind of story but I was very invested in the main characters.
This is the first in the series by Rennie Airth centered on Inspector John Maddon, a WW I survivor. The mystery revolves around several gruesome murders in and around a small English village. Is there a serial killer in their midst?
The reader was wonderful, complete with an accent that fit the story. The audiobook kept my interest the entire way through. I hope to continue with this series.
"River of Darkness"
This story is first class and should be rated as one of the best thrillers ever produced. I am a walker and listen to the storys as I walk, but I found myself rooted to the ground due to the sheer suspense, this book had you twisting from one spot to another. For the first time in the whole of my life (and I am no chicken), I found tears in my eyes. Its a book you will never forget and that is what a good book should do.I must make a mention of the reader he is so good that you think you are there with him, and the many characters are treated to their own accents.
This is an 'easy' listen. For me, there was no 'rewinding'; the story flowed easily and the characters were memorable. I enjoyed the historical setting and the reading. Good, good.
"Evocative and Spellbinding"
Wonderfully engrossing tale remininscent of Barbara Cleverly's atmospheric crime stories expertly narrated by Christopher Kay. So moving a memoir of the terrible loss to humanity of the generation of first world war victims of that madness in an entirely accessible account from a small scale perspective. Beautifully written. I can't wait to read more from this talented author. Thank you.
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