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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.
©2008 John Lawton; (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing Ltd.
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Critic Reviews

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

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By Antoine on 03-10-11

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Dexter on 03-22-09

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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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Peter Thomas on 09-27-10

A Triumph

I have not read any of his earlier books and this is the sixth in the series fortunately in Second Violin, Lawton takes us back to the early days of Troy?s career in a story set against the run up to the start of the Second World War. So not having read any of the others does not put you at a disadvantage. However, almost half of this book goes by without any real involvement from our detective. This is a challenging listen it deals with the brutality of the Nazi regime, it brings you face to face with racism and the horrors that took place while Britain tried to appease Hitler it looks at what it means to be British. It has strong language and violence but it is also enthralling.

A typical crime novel this certainly isn?t, wonderfully written and brilliantly narrated it most certainly is. In my view it?s a triumph.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Philip on 05-01-09


I found the Second Violin fascinating. True it dealt with the horrors of the Third Reich without pulling any punches but I do not think it does any of us any harm to be reminded of the consequences of racism and bigotry. If you enjoy stories based around the Second World War you will enjoy this audio book!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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