Second Violin

  • by John Lawton
  • Narrated by Lewis Hancock
  • 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

March 1938. The Germans take Vienna without a shot being fired. Covering Austria for the English press is a young journalist named Rod Troy. Back home, his younger brother joins the CID as a detective-constable. November 1938. Kristallnacht. The Jews leave Vienna - Sigmund Freud with an American escort on a sleeper train, Josef Hummel tied to the underside of a box car. June 1940. Sergeant Troy is seconded to Special Branch to help round up the 'enemy' aliens, among who are Hummel and his brother Rod. Rod and Hummel are interned on the Isle of Man... Meanwhile a lunatic is killing Rabbis in the East End of London. Troy asks for time off from Special Branch to return to his true calling...Murder.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the unsung (at least until now) heroes of the genre, as good as LeCarré." (Chicago Tribune)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

History and Mystery, woven together beautifully

John Lawton delivers again on his trademark blending of police procedural and political history set in the WWI and post-war period. We've previously net Bill (not Winston) Churchill and Kruschev among others. Winston is back this time with Harol McMillan in tow and others.

I'd read the earlier books and was casting around for my first ever choice of an audio book. this one made the cut, and it's a terrific choice for several reasons. the chapters, in Lawton style, are short and punchy.

There are lots of voices and a wealth of accents, which providing you have the ear for it (my Mother was English and I live in French Canada), the reader does justice to, as the story moves from toff Brits to cockneys and Lanchashiremen, Nazi SS officers, Austrian Jewish tailors, and Italian restaurateurs.
The story unfolds against the backdrop of the closing days of the peace after WWI, the German Anchluss and 'kristallnacht' and vivid descriptions of beatings of Jews by the SA in Vienna.

It takes a while for us to be reintroduced to Troy, our newly made Scotland Yard man, but he's the same, albeit younger Troy of the later (earlier written) stories. ...and some of the same gorgeous women reappear.

A great introduction to how absorbing a good audio book can be. - Antoine Maloney
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- Antoine

There will always be an England

I can not see how other reviewers can rate this so low. This series is trying to bring you British History like the Flashman Series, but at a much deeper level. The author shows us parts of British society reacting to crisis and change during a tumultuous 30 year period. Not quite a British Yoknapatawpha - the streets Inspector Troy walks are real - but close to it. Audible should carry the whole series!!!
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- Dexter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2008
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd