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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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
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.
37 of 39 people found this review helpful
I have read or listened to all Robert Goddard's book and rate this one the finest. I read it many years ago and it is one of the most memorable books I've encountered for the sheer roller-coaster of twists and turns. I had forgotten many of the details so greatly enjoyed re-visiting this amazing story. It's one of those books that entice one to keep listening, eager to find out what happens next. Michael Kitchen, as always, does an admirable job of narration. Highly recommended.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Robert Goddard is a very underestimated writer, this book was gripping, full of Roberts usual threads (the main character always follows a series of actions), the story delightfully long, as it needed to be with the plot unfolding through a first person and third person nattative. It was brought to life by Michael Kitchens reading. At first I was unsure of the reading style, but it proved to be perfect for the story. Without giving anything away, you will be kept guessing up to the end. Typical Robert Goddard. Listen to this book and I will eat my hat if you don't want to order another Robert Goddard book.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful