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Publisher's Summary

London had Sherlock Holmes. The dark alleys of Edinburgh had Inspector McLevy.
Known as the father of forensics and a likely influence on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, real-life police inspector James McLevy is here reinvented by David Ashton in a thrilling mystery - the first in a series - set in dark, violent Victorian Edinburgh.
Edinburgh, 1880. Election fever grips the city. But while the rich and educated argue about politics, in the dank wynds of the docks it's a struggle just to stay alive. When a prostitute is brutally murdered, disturbing memories from 30 years ago are stirred in Inspector McLevy, who is soon lured into a murky world of politics, perversion and deception - and the shadow of the serpent.
©2016 David Ashton (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By joanna potter on 08-10-16

Really struggling to finish this!

What would have made Shadow of the Serpent better?

Somebody else reading it. He is overly dramatic and I can hear him licking his lips and swallowing, which is really distracting. The performance is too much, much like the typical over enthusiastic thespian.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Shadow of the Serpent?

I`m really disappointed as the story seems really quite good and well written, but I cant listen to anymore of this. I might read the book though - fingers crossed that I don`t have that voice in my head when I do.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Ashton?

Anybody!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Cindy on 07-15-16

Dark drama

The author is a Scottish actor and his throaty whispers and heavy accent greatly enhance the story once the ear adjusts to them. It's a dark, Jack the Ripper type story but with enough difference to make it compelling drama. I was driven to look up the facts about the two great historical figures in the novel and the book became a learning experience as well.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By homebeam on 06-22-16

Masterly performance by David Ashton

What about David Ashton’s performance did you like?

I read a review which said David Ashton's performance was distracting but I thought it was brilliant. The atmosphere he created was alternatively creepy, funny and thrilling. I wan't sure in the end if the story was quite as good as the performance but I enjoyed it so much I didn't want it to stop.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By K on 02-20-17

Worshipping at his own literary shrine.

I both agree and disagree with previous reviewers. David Ashton loves what he's written and he's going to make sure you savour every one of his words. Thus, the narration is, without doubt, more than a little self-congratulatory. Sometimes is it annoying: he rolls certain words round in his mouth for half an hour before spitting them out and, frankly, the occasional sighing and hushed reverence he gives certain passages is nauseatingly smug.

Having said that, the novel is a good read, intriguing of plot and with plenty of dashes of light humour. The characters are interesting and have enough originality mixed with reassuring stereotypes to keep this work engaging and yet safe.

Ashton does do a great job with the accents; I love the realism of some of the gutter expressions and colloquialisms. My mum, being a Scot, and using words like 'breeks' helped make the regional expressions more amusing to my trained ear than, perhaps, a novice one but it certainly adds authentic colour.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By soo jay on 11-29-16

Great performance spoiled by poor record recording

David Ashton gives a marvellous performance here, but I could not listen all the way through as the recording captures too much "mouth noise". I wonder if there is someway to rectify this?

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