The Kings of London

  • by William Shaw
  • Narrated by Cameron Stewart
  • 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the Swinging Sixties, a battle for the soul of the city is fought between cops and criminals, the corrupt and the corrupted.
November 1968. Judy Garland is performing drunk at the Palladium and the city of London is about to catch fire - literally. Summonded to a gas explosion, Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen unearths a shocking discovery beneath the rubble: Mind-bending paintings by Bridget Riley and Peter Blake... and the garroted body of Jacob Pugh, a playboy god in the art world. With Detective Helen Tozer, Breen must infiltrate the artistic demimonde of a volatile and increasingly murderous city.
Seen through the eyes of an irresistible pair of detectives, the real London comes in view in The Kings of London: a gritty metropolis thrives in the shadows beyond the spotlights, and all manner of vice is committed in the name of liberation.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not cutesy-cozy, but not hard-boiled; a delight

This second in a series is an excellent mystery, with storylines that hold up for all 13 hours, quirky and well drawn characters, great period setting, some humour. Main character – Breen – gets slightly darker through his experiences in novels 1 and 2: If the series continues for many instalments, he could became a Rebus!

To the squeamish (me): One corpse description near the beginning and one near the end are a little grisly (and as in the first novel, a small passage in the middle could bother sensitive animal lovers). Apart from that, no graphic violence but some good suspense. I work with technology all day, so I welcome older mysteries or period pieces that don’t hang on digital devices. And my inner social history geek loves Shaw’s ‘68-69 London. Of course the plot is good but secondary to the other elements and is as much about petty office politics and corruption as the BIG corruption described in the blurb -- more about how mundane compromises come in shades of grey.

Stewart's narration continues to be excellent EXCEPT that some of his women’s voices are too shrill, almost Pythonoesque. As in the first novel, I found this jarring for the first few chapters but then either my ear adjusted or he found a rhythm.

I so wish there were a dozen in this series rather than two. I stumbled across the first as a Whispersync bargain – and thought I’d found more in Kindle, but it appears that the novel is published under different titles in the UK perhaps –so shop carefully.

I don't usually rate a detective novel 5 stars - but this deserves it as solid, smart entertainment that provokes a little though but no angst.
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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

Captures the Atmosphere

What did you love best about The Kings of London?

I was 17 years old and living in the UK in 1968, and as far as I'm concerned the author captured he atmosphere of Britain at that time perfectly. Coupled with the fact that I really cared about the characters, and the story-line was compelling, I give two thumbs-up for this book. Nice narration too!

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- Gary Regan "With Lotsa Love from gaz regn"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-27-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio