As the nineteenth century draws to a close, most of Europe is in political turmoil, and terrorist threats loom large across the continent. Adding to this unrest is the controversial Sofia Delacruz, who has come to London from Spain to preach a revolutionary gospel of love and forgiveness that many consider blasphemous. Thomas Pitt, commander of Special Branch, is charged with protecting Sofia - and shielding Her Majesty's government from any embarrassment that this woman, as beautiful as she is charismatic, might cause.
When Sofia suddenly vanishes, and two of her female disciples are gruesomely murdered, Pitt is challenged as never before. Is Sofia's cousin, wealthy banker Barton Hall, somehow involved? And why has handsome cricket star Dalton Teague insinuated himself into Pitt's investigation?
Fearful that this sensational crime may trigger an international incident, Pitt welcomes the help of three allies: his clever wife, Charlotte; her great-aunt Lady Vespasia; and Victor Narraway, Pitt's friend and former commander at Special Branch. From the narrow streets of Toledo and a lonely monastery high in the hills of Spain to the halls and wharves of London, Pitt and his friends race against time in their desperate bid to catch a murderer.
©2015 Anne Perry (P)2015 Recorded Books
History buff,anglophile,armchair traveler
Davina Porter is a great narrator, and perfect for Anne Perry's books. I just miss the story lines that were more about people and relationships. Ever since Thomas Pitt has been working for Special Branch they are more focused on politics. This story was better than the last two, but I do miss the old plots that dealt with society, relationships, poverty, etc.
I wasn't really happy with this one. I like the Pitt series most when Charlotte and Thomas are both involved in the story to a more balanced degree.
This one has Pitt trying to protect a woman, Sofia, that I didn't care about because she didn't become a real character. The controversial beliefs of the religious cult that she has founded are never clearly stated, and Sofia as a person is never fleshed out.
It also gives Victor Narraway and Aunt Vespasia much more ink than I care for. I found their romance far-fetched from the beginning; now they are married and help Pitt with his investigation this time around.
Charlotte is almost missing from the book, except as Pitt's loyal wife and the mother of his growing children. The one thing I enjoyed was several scenes where it is apparent that Jemima is becoming a young Charlotte: definitely having her own mind and finding that speaking it is not what is expected in Victorian society.
I love this series and Perry, after putting Pitt in Special Branch, has found ways before to include Charlotte to a greater degree, even though Pitt's investigations there have become very secret. Charlotte is an essential character and should be integral to the story. I think another reader said "Tired of Special Branch." Can we get Thomas back to regular policing? When Charlotte and her sister got involved in the stories and Pitt could use Charlotte at least as a sounding board? I haven't given up yet.
I have read all the Thomas Pitt books and I must say that this is absolutely the worse in the series. I basically deals with a Woman who is preaching a more fanatic version of the protestant fait. Suddenly she is kidnapped along with 2 of her followers who are slain in the most brutal fashion - similar to Jack the Ripper.
There is very little action in this book. A lot of the book is consumed with discussion about the faith this woman is preaching. It seems each character has this discussion which leads to a lot of repetition and take up a lot of space. Several people pop up who claim to want to help Pitt, but we meet them more as conversations in Pitt's office. They are not really active and involved until the denoument of this weak plot.
Many of the characters, like Charlotte, are cyphers who could be omitted without any loss of plot. Actually this books could have been half its current size and it sill might be very static.
The most exciting part comes at the end, when the whole plot is revealed in an orgy of fighting, arguments and death.
We do get to find out more about the married life of Narraway and Lady Vespasia which was interesting and one of the better parts of the book.
Davina Porter did her usual excellent job of reading and even she struggles to make the book interesting.
Fans of the series will probably want to read this, but I think, like me, they will be very disappointed in this offering. Surely Anne Perry could have done better than this.
It was very much up to the excellent standards of Ms Perry! Ms. Porter is one of my favorites and she did not disappoint. I cannot wait until the next episode. I think I would revisit some of the earlier series of Charlotte and Thomas Pitt!!!
I have listened to every single book in this series and this was, by far, THE WORST. There was a super-annoying preachy element that rubbed me the wrong way. About half way through this book, I tried to calculate how long would really be needed to tell the story to current point and 4.5 hours (to me) would equate to 15 minutes. There was so much repetition and drawing out of obscure points that I could easily have taken naps and picked up the story missing nothing.
The most upsetting to me is the lack of Charlotte. I know, Pitt was promoted and now she can't really participate...but Charlotte's character and her participation is what gave these stories depth and interest. I am sorry to say that this is likely my last book of this series...time to find something fresh.
Davina Porter - as always - gave a great performance...thank goodness.
Retired bookkeeper, married, Mom of 2, two granddaughters. Love cozy mysteries.
I've listened to almost all of the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series - at least the ones that are available on audio. I love AP's Christmas novellas, and I loved her WWI series, and I'm also working my way through the Monk series. I'm a diehard fan. I pre-ordered this book and listened as soon as it became available. I felt that the story could have been longer - she could have developed more of the aspects of the story, such as the effect that Sofia Delacruz was having on his daughter, Jemima. The story felt "rushed" to me. I deducted one star due to this. That said, however, it is still somewhat engaging, and a pleasant listen. I'm not sorry I purchased it.
I have mixed feelings.
The story line is boring, which is unusual for a Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mystery. The slow pace makes it hard to pay attention, which means my mind will wander on to other things and I end up missing (possibly) important narratives.
Vespacia is always a favorite.
The main characters, Thomas, Charlotte, Vespacia, and Victor Narroway are still charming, I just wish the plot would have been more intriguing.
The characters in this book Anne and Thomas Pitt are my favorites and now including their daughter! The storyline was very good!
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