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Publisher's Summary

In 1930s Georgia, 12-year-old Joseph hears of the brutal murder of a young girl, the first of a series of killings that will take 10 lives.

Compelled by fear and duty, Joseph and his friends are determined to protect the people of Augusta Falls.

©2007 R.J. Ellroy Publications Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

THE BEST NOVEL I HAVE READ IN 20 YEARS.

As many of you know I believe strongly that the quality of our life and the pleasure in our days is immeasurably enhanced by our exposure to and appreciation of books, movies and music. There is great joy in finding the book, movie or piece of music that resonates with you and even takes your breath away. This happens all too rarely, but it happened for me in August 2015 with R. J. Ellory’s masterly A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS. I was immersed in Roger’s prose within the first few paragraphs and couldn’t believe my good fortune when it just kept going page after page after page. Rarely have I read a book that evoked the time place and people so beautifully.
12 year old Joseph Calvin Vaughan is growing up in rural Georgia in 1939. His young life is assaulted by the death of his father and the murder of a young girl, the first of many. The book is told from Joseph’s viewpoint, and his struggle to come to grips with his radically impacted home and community life as the number of girls taken increases, provides the basis for the symbolic title.
The sheriffs in six counties, Joseph, and we, the readers, are all at a loss as to the identity or motives of the murderer. But Death walks the rural backroads, leaving behind him suspicion, anger and fear, and an increasingly hostile community. Over the decades the story moves between Georgia and New York and is anchored by a powerful evocation of the war and post-war years.
This is the best book I have read in 20 years. Remarkably it has vaulted into the top half dozen in a lifetime of reading and over 5,000 books read. This is right up there with THE GRAPES OF WRATH, THE EGYPTIAN, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL and PLOUGH THE SEA. If you only read one book this year, which, in itself would be sad, give yourself a treat and read this one.
I originally wrote this Review late in 2015 and sent it to some 500 clients. Having recently bought AQBIA from Audible with the excellent Vincent Marzello narration, it seemed appropriate to share my thoughts on this outstanding novel again. It is also one of only three novels I have read, then immediately read again to savour the pleasure of the experience.
One of the reviewers mentioned being impressed that he emailed Roger and received a prompt response. This is not an isolated incident as I had the same happen to me within 20 minutes of sending the email. I am honoured that Roger and I have subsequently exchanged in excess of 160 emails and forged a friendship, despite the fact that I live in Australia and he in the UK. This is a bond that has prompted me to dedicate my novel THE PRICE TO PAY to him in appreciation of the hundreds of hours or reading / listening pleasure he has provided me with his diverse bank of novels.
Although AQBIA remains my favourite of his books I am sure that any discerning reader will find a rare treasure trove in these surprisingly broad ranging novels.
I will be delighted to hear any comments or observations. Email: ericjdrysdale@gmail.com
Happy reading, Eric.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 04-14-11

Best listen in a long time

From the moment I started to listen to this book I was captivated. It was my first time listening to any book by R J Ellory.It is an emotionally draining but rewarding book and excellently narrated.It very much surprised me to later discover that the author is not American, as I had imagined, so brillantly does he write of Georgia in the US.I was so taken with the book that I emailed the author directly and to my surprise had a reply by return!!! Would recommend this book highly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Phil Fos
  • 10-11-12

Good intro to R.J.Ellory

If you could sum up A Quiet Belief in Angels in three words, what would they be?

Don't give up. When first started I wasn't too sure if the story was for me, but as it developed, just had to keep listening. Things in the story don't always turn out as expected.

What does Vincent Marzello bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Really brings the characters to life. Good ol' reader!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 08-10-09

Hauntingly written slowburner

A fantastic achievment to wrap a multi-year serial killer spree against the protagonist's life story and US pre and post war history. The prose is beautifully written and brought to life by the narrator.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 08-09-09

A grim and unrelenting book, poorly narrated

My goodness, but this is not a cheerful book; definitely not for those looking for a spiritual pick-me-up or if you are feeling downhearted. To be fair, the book does have some positive press - it is a "Richard & Judy" recommended book - and there is some powerful and insightful writing. But to me it works neither as a genuine novel nor as a detective thriller - on the latter there are just too many holes in the plot and the denouement is deeply implausible and unconvincing.

Matters are not helped by a desperately slow-paced narration, almost funereal in places; coupled with the narrator's heavy Southern accent, it makes the lead character sound at times half-witted. And the characters are not really drawn very well either. If you are going to buy this book, I would recommend that you listed to the sample first to make sure you like it (I wish I had).

I dont think I shall be reading any more of R J Ellory's books in a hurry.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-23-12

Pretentious title

Long slow book but evokes the time well. Central character is good. Not so convinced with the story which feels shoe-horned into the rest. For matters of probity: I am not the author

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Becki
  • 08-08-10

Pleasantly Surprised

I was not sure what to expect having read some rather critical reviews but I found it an enjoyable listen. I was struck at the different writing style used compared to some of his other work (Black Dahlia for example) and found the articulate and at times poetic style wonderfully engaging. All in all the story was good although slow moving and I was pleased but also disappointed that I'd figured out who the murderer was fairly early on - I guess it was too obvious as normally I have no clue! Worth a listen for sure.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful