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Publisher's Summary

In 1350 the people of Cambridge are struggling to overcome the effects of the Black Death - and with a high mortality rate among priests and monks, the townsfolk are vulnerable to sinister cults that have sprung up. At Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew is training new physicians when the body of a friar is found in the massive chest that the university uses to store precious documents. While investigating, Bartholomew stumbles across a derelict church being used as a meeting place for the mysterious sect he believes is at the heart of a web of blackmail and deceit - with intention to overthrow the established religion.

©1996 Susanna Gregory (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about An Unholy Alliance

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better than the first book

Better character and plot development than the first book. The historical elements are still my favorite part of this series.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

An unholy alliance

Long drawn out tale.
eNot much happens and what does is very repetitive. Narrator was the best part. His many voices of the characters were excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical fiction read

The story starts slowly and you need to pay attention or get lost in all the characters. The historical detail about the level filth people endured in 14th century may be accurate but it also feels distracting. Still-Matthew and Micheal are a very likeable team and the story pick up steam resulting in a satisfying if tangled conclusion

1 person found this helpful

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Great Series

This the second book in the series has more of a feel of what the rest of the books are like. I love the mixture of mystery, history, and humor. David Thorp does a great job doing the voices and putting personality in the characters.

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Profile Image for Siubhan O Dubhain
  • Siubhan O Dubhain
  • 08-28-17

An exceptional alliance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A great story told by a master of characterisation. He brings medieval Cambridge to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's got to be Michael! I always imagined him looking something like Dara O' Brian, but David Thorpe added an extra dimension with that slightly lispy upper class accent.

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favourite?

There are so many.... Cynric the Welshman, Agatha the cook, random yokels.... love the variations.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Take a punt on the Cam. If the plague doesn't get you, a mad monk will.

Any additional comments?

Only recently tapped into audios, when diagnosed with eye cancer. Lay in bed chuckling through my radiotherapy. Always loved Gregory.... tended to flick through the descriptive bits but David Thorpe is a genius and every word was a jewel. Thank you so much.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 07-24-18

A right good yarn

I wonder if the plot line needs to be so complicated but wonderful characters make it a joy to listen. David Thorpe brings all the characters to life and Brother Michael is especially entertaining, I want him to be my best mate!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Frankieboy
  • 12-17-18

medieval murder mystery

The second in a long line of books enjoyed it very much following along the same lines as the first novel . If you enjoy this type of crime novels then you're enjoy this. Excellent

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • THERESA THENUKA PRINCE
  • 08-28-18

Entertaining story with many twists!

Kept me guessing till the end as to who the villains were! Great crimes thriler!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sunshine
  • 07-27-18

Excellent Narration

Superb choice of Narrator - I like the way he varies the voices and has kept the same Characters' accents the same as in the previous book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia Salt
  • 07-24-18

Mediaeval murder mystery

A thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery centred around Cambridge after the plague with many twists and turns. Another triumph for Dr Bartholomew.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M.Martin
  • 07-01-18

An enjoyable listen

I bought this after listening to the first book and really enjoyed it. I love the narration as it brings the characters alive and you can really see the book in your head. I wasn't as taken with the story as the first book, but none the less it was an enjoyable whodunit and a satisfying ending. Cannot wait for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • bethanmorris
  • 01-11-18

bit over-explained

I really enjoyed the atmosphere created by the storytelling but felt that the writing goes a bit overboard on spelling out the plot towards the end.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicola
  • 01-06-21

Very complex

I don’t usually flinch from complex stories but this was really quite tricky to follow. However, superbly read and a ‘good yarn’.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Crispin Pemberton
  • 12-16-20

Tortuously complex.

Well read on the whole, but the plot has so many twists and turns that it simply doesn't work as an audio book. Probably better to read the book itself. Impossible to retain all the subtle and different strands. Even when it was all being explained at the denouement I lost interest because of all the recollections of small events hundreds of pages earlier.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-20

Hard to follow

Struggled to finish, lots of round about ways of getting straight to the point. Story a bit out there and hard to swallow. Confusing, frustrating and downright boring.