Gallows Thief: A Novel

  • by Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by Jonathan Keeble
  • 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1820 and England has fought its last victorious battle against the French. Rider Sandman, a hero of Waterloo, has finally returned to London to wed his young bride. But instead of being able to settle down to his fame and glory, he finds himself penniless in a country where unemployment and social unrest are raging high, and where men - innocent or guilty - are hung for the merest of crimes. Thus, when the Home Secretary offers him a job as private investigator - to re-open the case of a death-row candidate accused of murder - Sandman readily accepts, as much for the money as for a chance to see justice being done in a country gone to ruins. Soon, however, he is up to his elbows in grisly a murder plot that keeps thickening as Sandman makes his way through gentleman’s clubs and shady taverns, aristocratic mansions and fashionable painters studios, unerringly determined to rescue the innocent young man from the rope. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed...


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you consider the audio edition of Gallows Thief: A Novel to be better than the print version?

Yes but I've only listened to the unabridged version narrated by Jonathan Kebble. I can't imagine this book would be improved by reading the print version when Kebble brings the voices of the characters to life with such aplomb.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rider Sandman himself would be my favorite however each character brings the story forward in a "can't wait to to turn the page" manner.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first but I'll be looking for more in the future.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Marketing is not my thing but it would mention the gritty life of early 19th century London.

Any additional comments?

I'm not usually drawn to write a review of books but this on is so fantastic, such a fabulous combination of author and narrator, that I want to shout from the roof tops to everyone...This is a winner.

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- Deeda

Pretty okay

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favorite?

Sam Berrigan

Any additional comments?

I've enjoyed the Bernard Cornwell books I've read, but this one, my first audio version, didn't sit right with me.1) I really didn't care for the protagonist, Capt Sandman, or his love interest. At all. Boring, stilted & no depth. There were also huge inconsistencies in behavior & motivation.2) The bad guys were far more interesting than Capt Sandman... which didn't take much.3) The reading of it started to grate on me: the narrator attempted to speak in falsetto for the women's lines & it was almost painful to hear after a while. 4) The book seems to have been written to make some political point about the use of the gallows &, thus, no effort was made to develop the characters.5) I really didn't care for anybody in the story - not even the poor young man falsely accused of murder.Cornwell has written much better books than this & while not everyone can hit a home run each time, this one didn't even cross the pitching mound.

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- RLFire

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-18-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio