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The Redemption of Alexander Seaton | [S. G. MacLean]

The Redemption of Alexander Seaton

Banff in the 1620s. A man staggering down the street. He appears drunk, but he's been poisoned. The victim, and apothecary's apprentice, is discovered dead in Alexander Seaton's house, a fallen minister whose life lies in tatters after his affair with the Laird's daughter is discovered and he is cast out of the kirk in disgrace. When his friend is accused of the apprentice's murder, Alexander sets out to solve the crime and clear his friend's name.
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Publisher's Summary

Banff in the 1620s. A man staggering down the street. He appears drunk, but he's been poisoned. The victim, an apothecary's apprentice, is discovered dead in Alexander Seaton's house, a fallen minister whose life lies in tatters after his affair with the Laird's daughter is discovered and he is cast out of the kirk in disgrace.

When his friend is accused of the apprentice's murder, Alexander sets out to solve the crime and clear his friend's name.

©2009 Shona MacLean; (P)2009 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Pacy and literate,this is an accomplished and thought-provoking debut." (The Guardian)
"For those who like their historical novels densely packed with fact,this will appeal." (Scotland on Sunday)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (9 )
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3.7 (3 )
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4.0 (3 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carolina Westmeadows, Australia 08-09-10
    Carolina Westmeadows, Australia 08-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Very interesting"

    As a big fan of this type of mystery story, I was delighted with this book. At about 1 hour from the end of the book I still had absolutely no idea of who had done it. That can't be said about many books.
    The thing that I did not like about it was the very strong scottish accent that Crawford Logan had for some charaters, as well as some arcaic scottish vocabulary that Shona MacLean used, to the point that I really did not understand what was being said amd missed many dialogs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-26-13
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great listen"

    I thought the book was very interesting! Good mystery and it definitely kept me guessing, which is pretty rare for me. I see a lot of other reviews didn't like the narrator but I thought he was excellent, I didn't mind the accent or the Scottish terms. I would definitely recommend this and I will be buying the sequels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Rachel
    Stoke on TrentUnited Kingdom
    5/16/09
    Overall
    "Great book, well read"

    This is the first review I've written, of the most surprising audio book I've yet read. Surprising in many ways: in the quality of both the writing and the reading, both previously unknown to me; in the layer on layer of complexity in the story; and in the way that this is handled so beautifully by author and reader.

    Set in 17th century Scotland, the story illustrates a contrast between narrow religious bigotry and a wide, stimulating world of new ideas and discoveries. The story none the less portrays religion as pervasive, and as a part of the texture of everyday life in this time and place, and the varieties of forms of belief are displayed in a way which made them both interesting and credible to this non-religious reader.

    So far, this review makes the book sound solemn and overly serious. Not at all. It's a cracking story, multi-layered, with twists and turns which always spring directly from the plot, so they develop naturally from the story lines. Tolerance jostles intolerance, science confronts belief in witchcraft, and the outcomes are uncertain. This is not a book of easy answers, but a novel of interesting questions, and great fun.

    The main character is himself complicated, a man deeply affected by a humiliating episode in his recent past, and by a turn of events in his life which has left him deeply confused and unsure of himself. At times pessimistic, but always stubbornly moving forwards none-the-less, Alexander Seaton travels uncertainly towards his redemption. The mystery at the heart of the story is progressively uncovered, as the supporting cast of characters are developed, and the parts they play, or have played in the commission and in the uncovering of crime are gradually revealed.

    Great stuff. Highly recommended.

    43 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    5/12/11
    Overall
    "Atmospheric, historical murder mystery"

    Set in the early years of James First's (sixth of Scotland) reign the author successfully creates the atmosphere of Scotland in that era of dour and self-righteous Protestantism and the lack of sympathy for "sinners". It was a time when elderly women had to be wary of being accused of witch-craft on the flimsiest of grounds. Fears abounded of a foreign invasion to re-establish the Catholic faith. Against this back-drop a story unfolds of a series of unexplained deaths in a village in Banff in North-East Scotland that sets off a whirlwind of consequences. It's a pacy narrative that kept me listening. The Scottish actor, Crawford Logan, does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and, to my Scottish ear, he got the accents of the area just right: not an easy task.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth Davies
    11/9/09
    Overall
    "Fascinating and enjoyable"

    This was a rare treat - I was totally engrossed in this story; it had everything: rounded characters, historical detail and a gripping story. I was so sad when it ended - I envy antone who is about to begin listening to this book.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Pauline
    Channel Islands, United Kingdom
    1/15/12
    Overall
    "An excellent listen"

    I bought this as it was highly recommended by Audible and I wasn't disappointed. Not the kind of book I would normally select, but I am now eager to read the other two books Shona MacLean has written featuring Alexander Seaton. I do hope they will become available on Audible soon. As for the narration - Crawford Logan has a wonderful voice and his depiction of the characters is excellent. I would give him a 5+ rating!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Learning is fun!
    Dorset, England
    12/2/12
    Overall
    "Highly Recommended Read"

    I had never heard of this author before joining Audible but decided to risk following the recommendations of others who had purchased this audio book and what a treat it has been to listen to it. Evocative of the era and the location; fascinating and unusual story line; very well read by an actor whose voice is easy to listen to and never becomes monotonous..... I could go on. Suffice it to say that I can't wait to listen to the next book. Thank you.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • c
    WALSALL, United Kingdom
    4/24/13
    Overall
    "Great story superbly written and read"

    Just loved this from start to finish. A very unusual tale of murder.mystery and bigotry so beautifully written that I'm sure you'll find yourself totally drawn in to the dark atmosphere of those times. While I do agree with a previous reviewer that this can be a little dark and depressing, it is I think, only a reflection of that point in history and the very nature of the story being told....not forgetting the author's prowess in creating such a powerful atmosphere. It also has a fairly warm and satisfying ending too. My lasting impression of this novel was how totally I found myself being transported and engrossed by it. Definitely one of my best buys!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Penny
    Havelock North, New Zealand
    8/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A dark and compelling murder mystery."

    This story is full of historical information about 17th century Scotland - social, cultural and religious - I loved it and will definitely be looking for more from this author.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mara
    Warrington, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating saga"

    Well-rounded characters, captivating story, beautiful prose. The turns in the story kept me listening long after I should have gone to sleep!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dee S
    Bath, Somerset
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Redemption od Alexander Seaton"

    I dont normally go for this typw of book but when I read the discription of the book it sounded intersting so I got this book and just started reading the second book of the series. It kept me interested from start to finish. The figure of Alexander was always wanting to find the true about the murder of the two people but also the curse on his family which had has led to him losing quite a few family members to this curse.



    he went to Ireland to find out what was going on with the curse and also he met anotehr person and traveled across Ireland to find out information. Near the end of the book he meets with the person that did the peom at his sisters wedding as he had made prodictions what would happen and he wanted answers why.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Judith
    Malvern, United Kingdom
    8/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very glad I tried it."
    Would you listen to The Redemption of Alexander Seaton again? Why?

    I am not normally fond of historical novels and bought this because it had good reviews and sounded intriguing. I rarely award five stars for anything, but enjoyed this hugely. The excellent research conveys a fascinating picture of the period, the story line is unusual, the narration mesmerising - I did not want it to end.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alexander Seaton is a flawed but compelling and attractive character, but the characterisation in general is excellent, with surprising twists to reveal the reality of some as very different from their appearance. Sympathy is eventually evoked for the most unlikely candidates as their story is revealed.


    What about Crawford Logan’s performance did you like?

    Crawford Logan's voice is ideally suited to the narrative, very clear but with a lovely Scottish burr - I could have listened to him for hours and his reading really illuminated the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen to my audiobooks while doing housework (not easy for me as I am disabled) and found myself looking for more chores so that I couldn't go on listening!


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent book, superbly read. I recommend it unreservedly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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