Before the Poison

  • by Peter Robinson
  • Narrated by Simon Slater, Sandra Duncan, Al Senter
  • 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Through years of success in Hollywood composing music for Oscar-winning films, Chris Lowndes always imagined he would come full circle, home to Yorkshire with his beloved wife, Laura. Now he’s back in the Yorkshire Dales, but Laura is dead, and Chris needs to make a new life for himself.
The isolated house he buys sight unseen should give him the space to come to terms with his grief and the quiet to allow to him to work. Kilnsgate House turns out to be rather more than he expected, however. A man died there, 60 years ago. His wife was convicted of murder. And something is pulling Chris deeper and deeper into the story of Grace Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck until she was dead….
Peter Robinson’s first departure from the Banks series in over 20 years is a poignant exploration of guilt, self-sacrifice, and redemption ,and a novel of unsettling psychological suspense. Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loved this book

Robinson cleverly combines a 2011 storyline of a man greaving for his wife with a 1950's murder mystery. Did Grace Fox kill her husband? Who was she, what kind of life did she live - a restricted life of a country doctors wife constrained by 1950's morality? We learn that there was a lot more to Grace than that, a remarkable woman who lived through a remarkable time in history. There were plently of twists and turns in this plot to keep me guessing right to the end. I loved this mystery, and I came away feeling like I had learned a lot more about women in 1940's and 50's Britain. I cant wait to listen to it again! All the ingredients of a great download - enjoy!!
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- Rebecca

A nice change of pace

Peter Robinson has left D.I. Allan Banks for the moment. The publicity that accompanies the profile is spot on and I found this a compelling mystery. A grieving widower buys a house in a bleaker part of the Yorkshire Dales. Having experience in this type of house myself, I can attest to the sometimes creepy atmosphere. Chris Lowndes, the unsuspecting house-buyer hadn't purchased the house, his life may well have taken a different tack but the real hook is that the former owners, a doctor and his attractive wife lived, until he is poisoned. His wife, an enigmatic figure permeates the whole novel from the account of her hanging in the early 1950s to the start in her own words in the second part of the novel. Had this been in paper, it would have needed to be pried from my hands. I couldn't stop listening, such was the compelling nature of the story and the accomplished narrative. Lowndes, the unsuspecting and conned house-buyer is a sympathetic character and his late loved wife and memories are shaken and stirred by an almost-ghost story and his whole life is upturned by a preoccupation with an executed woman whose story reverberates throughout the book, to the extent that although she remained enigmatic to me, she was real: I don't think I can speak more highly of credibility.
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- Christopher "Social Scientist and Researcher; mostly retired but conducting longitudinal research into social issues especially the media and social networking. Avid SF and alternative history fan; enjoy a good crime yarn and have become something of an addict for audiobooks."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-18-2011
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited