• Black Out

  • An Inspector Troy Novel
  • By: John Lawton
  • Narrated by: Lewis Hancock
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (250 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London, 1944. While the Luftwaffe makes its final assault on the already battered British capital, Londoners rush through the streets, seeking underground shelter in the midst of the city's blackout. When the panic subsides, other things begin to surface along with London's war-worn citizens. A severed arm is discovered by a group of children playing at an East End bomb site, and when Scotland Yard's Detective Sergeant Frederick Troy arrives at the scene, it becomes apparent that the dismembered body is not the work of a V-1 rocket.

After Troy manages to link the severed arm to the disappearance of a refugee scientist from Nazi Germany, America's newest intelligence agency, the OSS, decides to get involved. The son of a titled Russian émigré, Troy is forced to leave the London he knows and enter a corrupt world of bloody consequences, stateless refugees, and mysterious women as he unearths a chain of secrets leading straight to the Allied high command.

©2017 John Lawton (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Black Out

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

Sigh. After Bluffing Mr. Churchill, I was excited to try this follow-up. The book starts out good enough--the plot develops, then.......it just wanders and really goes nowhere. And at some point it turns into a weird, awkward Harlequin romance where it just becomes Troy recounting his sexual encounters along the way. I had to stop about 3/4 of the way through--just couldn't take anymore. I totally lost interest in what I thought to be the main plot--a string of "mysterious" murders, that really weren't all that mysterious. You find out who the killer is (or who it is believed to be) very early. Maybe there's a twist but I couldn't gut it out long enough to find out. I wanted to like this book, but it just didn't hold my interest. The characters are not developed and are not interesting. The reader doesn't really care about any of the characters enough to get invested in the story. Don't waste your money--or more importantly, your time.

7 people found this helpful

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not a fan

explicit sex, violence without reason. didn't work for me. I won't be reading more from this author.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

The writer is skilled, but I found the story lacking. I didn't finish the last 1 hour. There was no real police work. The book was just about the main character's sex life.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Give it a try

First time reading this author, This is a mystery with a good plot and setting. I liked both the main and side characters of the story. The narrator did a good job with female voices and with accents. I plan to continue with the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The reader is a disaster!

English readers in general are very, very good... except when it comes to rendering American accents, which they seem to have learned from old James Cagney movies. Everyone, no matter what their class or background, talks like a New Jersey mobster. Lewis Hancock descends to new lows. His version of one of the main characters in the novel is grotesque -- not to say downright insulting. While Black Out is by no means one of Lawton's best novels, it's still entertaining and generally well written, but when the American character enters the scene, which is only too often, it's just painful.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love these novels!

Hurry up & commit the rest of the John Lawton books to audio!!! Love the books & narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!

John Lawton is master at captivating your attention and bringing you to the scene as though you were there witnessing it. Your reality disappears as you become the characters and experience their lives vicariously. I love a good book that does that very thing!

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Unfortunate

It seems that the author took the idea dramatizing the plight of a British police officer during World War II from the excellent BBC television program Foyle’s War. Unfortunately the author fails as a story teller. The injection of post millennium ideas and jargon into mid nineteenth century situations further detracts and distracts from the reader’s immersion.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, story needed trimming

The book was interesting for the first 2/3 but then it became tedious. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery, but the last 1/3 of the book is dedicated to Troy's obsession and it was intolerable. I would have liked more time spent in the last years of the war.

The narrator was a little shaky at first, which is why there's only 4 stars, but his character voices are excellent. So easy to tell who was talking and very entertaining.

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five stars, but not my favorite

I am reading this series in the order of 'events,' not he order of publication. This is the first book written in the series (third in chronological order), and I find that I dislike more characters than the previous two, and that this book lacks the subplots of those two. While I did not mention it in my reviews of those two, I found a theme of alienness/belonging to be a major part of why many of the characters acted as they did. In this, Lawton's first book, plot seems to dominate all other aspects with the result that the 'bad guys' (and even some 'good guys') seem to act in order to further the plot rather than reveal what motivates them. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, particularly the second jalf more than the first. But while I found Cal McCormack an extremely likeable American in "Bluffing Mister Churchill," I found the Americans in this book obnoxious, obnoxious to the point of being a bit unbelievable. Alas, I did not care what happened to most of the people who appeared in this book, so while I give it 5 stars, I could just as easily given four stars while the first two were great reads.