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Publisher's Summary

A collection of four blackly humorous crime mysteries featuring the fictional BBC Radio crime correspondent George Cragge. 

Adapted from the novel by Mark Tavener, In the Red sees the anarchic George Cragge investigate a spree of bizarre murders in the world of City finance, a small political party contesting a by-election, and a plan to overthrow the Director-General of the BBC.

The sequel, In the Balance, features George Cragge kicking off a murder trail during the FIFA World Cup at Wembley Stadium. And with Europe becoming a hot potato, can the Prime Minister hold on to his job? 

In the Chair follows the maverick hack as he looks into a series of murders of dentists linked to New Labour policy.

The final drama, In the End, sees George Cragge investigating a series of murders of journalists.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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  • Overall
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  • Nigel
  • 03-17-18

Prequel to BBC Radio 4's ‘Absolute Power’

Michael Williams (late-husband of Judi Dench) is fantastic, he makes the series’ shine with his portrayal of BBC reporter George Cragge.

Stars many a famous name: Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Cranham, Rebecca Front, Richard Griffiths, Stephen Fry, John Bird, Peter Serafinowicz, Anton Rodgers

- In the Red (1995) 7 episodes
- In the Balance (1997) 6 episodes
- In the Chair (1998) 6 episodes
- In the End (1999) 6 episodes

These stories include Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe, played by Stephen Fry and John Bird, which in 2000 (-2006) starred in their own spin-off series ‘Absolute Power’ which is also written by Mark Tavener.

** Would suggest not to binge listen in one go as the stories do get rather similar/ formulaic **

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Spangler
  • 05-14-18

Quite brilliant!

This is excellently written and performed by a great cast. It would be spiffing if audible could obtain both series of Higher Table Lower Orders also by Mark Tavener and equally brilliant! Please audible crack on!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • S. M. A. John
  • 05-03-18

Satire with a twist!

Michael Williams is excellent in his role as the modern crusading journalist in the shallow worlds of politics, high finance and media. Much of what is being satirised is relevant today as it was when this series was first broadcasted. The plots and characterisations are strong, helped by an extraordinary supporting cast which not only reads as a Who's Who of British satire of the past 50 years with the likes of John Bird, Rebecca Front, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry but also stellar actors such as Barry Foster, Tracey-Ann Oberman, Peter Woodthorpe, Jim Carter, Suzie Brand, Stephen Thorne, Benjamin Whitrow and Jeremy Clyde. The series is excellent due to the superb efforts of production teams which include the likes of Scott Cherry and Paul Schlesinger. This is BBC radio at its best, long may it continue!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Bayley
  • 03-14-18

A Rather Unlikeable Hero

These were very strong performances in increasingly weaker stories. George Cragge was thoroughly unlikeable though. I sympathised with his editor and with his friend Frank because anyone who told me that they could do my job better than me in that tone of voice would get short shrift.

The Labour Party story, while funny, was unnecessary in the final tale. Great to see Charles and Martin from Absolute Power though.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • helencathcart
  • 07-17-18

Great cast, bit too political for my liking

Cleverly written and funny script, with a brilliant cast including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Anton Rodgers and John Bird. I enjoyed the 4 stories, some focused heavily on political satire, more than the crime story, but an enjoyable listen nonetheless. Would recommend, but not if you are looking for intricate crime drama.

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  • Gavin Smith
  • 06-19-18

Brilliant listen with great performances all round

Michael Williams is brilliant (once you get past hearing him as Doctor Watson) and the cast of supporting characters is stellar. The plots may get a bit bizarre, but there are plenty of laugh out loud moments and biting moments of satire that are still very relevant today.

Fascinating to hear the development of the Absolute Power characters too.

Absolute bargain to have all the series all in one place and highly recommended