Painting the Darkness

  • by Robert Goddard
  • Narrated by Michael Kitchen
  • 20 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On a mild autumn afternoon in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in the garden of his comfortable family home. When the creak of the garden gate heralds the arrival of an unexpected stranger, he is puzzled but not alarmed. He cannot know the destruction this man will wreak on all he holds most dear.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Skeletons in every closet

I detest spoilers, so I have been wracking my brain trying to decide how to write a useful review of this book without giving away crucial information. Clearly the central mystery is to determine whether James Norton is really Sir James Davenall returned from the dead. The multitude of characters take sides for or against, with several being uncertain. I took all three positions at different times. This long and densely plotted mystery gives up its clues sparsely and cunningly, requiring you to pay close attention and remember what you’ve heard especially regarding names and dates. The Davenall family has more skeletons in their closets than a whole host of haunted houses. Different interested parties are tracking down different skeletons, resulting in the puzzle pieces being distributed among a variety of characters acting on their own agendas, and not necessarily sharing with the others. Sometimes I thought I had a thread untangled only to be confounded by new information from another direction. I really did have to wait to the end to get all the puzzle pieces in place, and there were still surprises once I got there, with a hint of menace left in the final scene.

This is my first Goddard book, but not the last. The writing is wonderful, and the reading by Michael Kitchen puts this on my list of best narrated books. He is by turns smooth, intense, emotional, cruel and bewildered. He handles male and female, young and old voices believably, adding drama and atmosphere without calling distracting attention to himself. A tour de force performance that has me looking for more of his readings.
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- Janice

Never a slow moment, may be Goddard's best.

I have listened to a lot of Goddard's books and this one is easily in the top three if not the best. You quickly get into the characters and scene of the 1800s and the twists of plot keep you wanting for more. Typically I feel Goddard's books don't have the great ending but are enjoyable for the story and characters. This one has both. The narrator should get 6 stars. Highest recommendation in my book.
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- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios