River of Darkness
by

Rennie Airth

Review of Book

It's late summer, 1921. The police are investigating a particularly horrific crime deep in the Surrey countryside, which at first appears to be a straightforward robbery with violence. But they soon realize they're dealing with something far more disturbing….

This is an excellent mystery crime thriller, written in 1999, which received huge critical acclaim and was short-listed for several crime fiction awards. It's a really solid and gripping story that keeps your attention the whole way through, and keeps you guessing right to the end. Just when you think the tale has unraveled, there's a clever twist and a convincing conclusion. There's also a subtle and tender love story running quietly around the main plot, making a nice contrast to the suspense and drama.

I don't feel this is a particularly good abridgment as it leaves some gaps and unanswered questions, so I would highly recommend getting hold of the book. It's the first in a trilogy; the sequel 'The Blood Dimmed Tide', is due for publication in November 2004 along with the audio book.

Review of Nat's Reading

To narrate he uses a warm, rich and resonant tone, and gives the central character, Scotland Yard's Inspector John Madden, a flat, almost gruff sound. This is just right for a man haunted by images from the battlefield and by personal tragedy, and makes you feel compassionate towards him.

Corporal Alfred Tozer from the Military Police is probably Nat's best voice here. It's not only the accent he uses, but he speaks it in a very natural way - so unexpected if you've thought of him mostly as being limited to doing 'posh' and 'upper-class'!

Being such a good book, this is yet another that I would love Nat to have read completely, but at least we have another helping to look forward to next year.

Published by

Macmillan Audiobooks

ISBN 0333904958

July 2001

Available on cassette only at present

Abridged version

Running time 3hrs approx

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