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Publisher's Summary

Cambridge, October 1933. Inside the old All Hallows Church on All Hallows' Eve, Dr. Adelaide Hartest witnesses the final moments of a dying stranger. Despite the dagger plunged into the stranger's chest and his last-minute confession, the death is ruled a suicide. The victim, it is revealed, is known to Scotland Yard, and Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands is sent up from London to investigate.

Thrown into a deadly ring of cloak-and-dagger politics and high-society hedonism, Sandilands must uncover the truth before the Hellfire Club, an elite society composed of intelligentsia and aristocrats, topples the institutions and harms the people he has sworn to protect - especially one he has come to truly love.

©2016 Barbara Cleverly (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

So. Very. Boring.

I have enjoyed all of the other novels in this series, but this one was just insanely boring. It starts off with a bang! It's exciting and leads the reader/listener to expect a story that goes somewhere. But don't let that fool you. After that brief burst of activity, the novel descends into talking. Endless talking. Exposition. More talking.

I made it about 3/4 of the way through, thinking that all that jabbering would eventually give way to Cleverly's usual combination of history and plot. Not so. This really just felt like Cleverly's excuse to lecture on some of her favorite historical topics. That was interesting enough, but I wanted to hear a mystery when I started this. The mystery is far in the background. As always, Crossley did a good job with narration. It wasn't his fault that I just didn't care.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator ruins this book

Any additional comments?

This is one of my favorite series, but the narrators of the last few books have been very disappointing. Terry Wale read the first 4(?) books, and he did a wonderful job portraying Sandilands as the charming, intelligent character he is. Steven Crossley makes all the female characters, and sometimes Sandilands himself, sound like elderly spinsters. His cadence is bizarre and soooo slow, and it's hard to distinguish between characters. If there are future books in this series, and Crossley is the narrator, I think I'll skip the audio and just buy the book instead.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not My Favorite

I am a longstanding fan of Joe Sandilands but this may be my least liked of them all.

I didn't particularly like the setting, the science aspect, the debauchery, or the relationships. Not bad, just not my cup of tea.

Will look forward to the next. Maybe it will suit me better.