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Publisher's Summary

Kerstin Kvist didn't know what to expect when she took up a job with the Cosway family at their odd, almost grand, house. The family turned out to be even odder than the house: living at home with the widowed Mrs. Cosway were her four daughters and a son who haunted the house. Then, just as Kerstin was getting some inkling of what was going on, a stranger sets the family on a path to self-destruction...

©2005 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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A very mannered delivery

When you're sensitive to the nuances of a narrator's style, then a mannered delivery, such as the one given by Sian Thomas, renders the audiobook unlistenable. I persevered to chapter 6, as I'm a fan of Barbara Vine, but kept being pulled out of the world of the novel by the jarring quality of Thomas' implausible "Swedish" accent and irritatingly mannered delivery.
I can't, therefore, honestly rate the novel itself in its audiobook format, as I simply couldn't get far enough into it, and my rating is purely for the performance. However, Audible's coding of the review page requires I allocate stars for everything.

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  • ORed
  • 10-18-17

Quite an odd yet evocative read

I do love these stories about dysfunctional, posh families from the past. This one had an engaging plot, but it petered out, rather than ended with a flourish.

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  • SilentSinger
  • 10-13-15

The Minotaur

I've read this before in paperback and although it was a good book, I don't think that it is one of Rendell/Vine's best. I managed to recall some, but not all of the various plot threads.

The synopsis concerns Kirsten Kvist, a young Swedish woman who is engaged to nurse John Cosway, a man with mental health issues. The book's timeframe is set during the late 1960s in rural Essex. John, who lives with his aged mother and three unmarried sisters in a shabby manor house called Lydstep Old Hall where nothing is quite what it seems.

The narrator, Sian Thomas, was absolutely excellent, she really made the story come to life and every character was articulated in a completely different way. She is one of the best.

My opinion was that John's disability was pretty obvious, but that and the other plot tropes were interesting nonetheless.

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  • Jo Inglewood
  • 03-04-15

Superbly read

This is frustratingly unclear at the end, who killed X is not quite revealed. This lack of clear resolution of the ending is similar to other Barbara Vine books and sometimes I don't mind; as it's more the telling and the situation around events, than the cut and dried nature of the crime, but this is one I really wanted to know.

Sian Thomas narrates this audio book superbly; I really loved it because she brought the characters to life.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful