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Extended Audio Sample Gallows Thief, by Bernard Cornwell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 5 4.14 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bernard Cornwell Narrator: James Frain Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Rider Sandman, having fought Napoleon in the French wars, expected to lead the life of an English country gentleman, but now, two years after Waterloo, his family is impoverished, his name is disgraced, and he has been forced to release the woman he loves from her obligation to marry him. Desperate to earn money, he accepts a job as the government’s investigator; an official who discovers whether petitions for mercy sent by condemned criminals should be granted. His first case concerns a portrait painter who is due to hang for murder in a week’s time, and the government makes it clear that they want the verdict confirmed.

But Rider Sandman, whose qualifications for the post are nonexistent, discovers that the painter is almost certainly innocent and, as he peels back the layers of a corrupt penal system, finds himself pitted against some of the wealthiest and most ruthless men in Regency England—who want to keep the truth hidden.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A thing of literary glory. Page for page, sentence for sentence, and scene for heart-stopping scene, Gallows Thief is the strongest historical novel I have read this year.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “[A] beautifully crafted historical novel…Cornwell believes in those trusty devices: character and plot. Gallows Thief is a rip-roaring yarn that tips its hat to the basics of good old-fashioned storytelling.”

    Times (London)

  • “Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war, and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation…Cornwell, at his best, is utterly compelling. And this is Cornwell at his best.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “Remarkable…a rousing tale.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “James Frain reads with a somber tone that adds tension and menace to Sandman’s quest. His readings of the hanging scenes that open and close the novel are harrowing…The novel works both as a thriller and as a glimpse of life in England shortly after the French Wars.”

    AudioFile

  • “Cornwell’s flair for authentic detailing distinguishes this suspenseful, action-packed period whodunit.”

    Booklist

  • “Corwell is superb at weaving the ambience and issues of the day (this time Regency England) with a gripping plot and a memorable character. Readers will hope to see more.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Shriya | 4/28/2011

    " A good book, with a nice amalgamaton of mystery, history and the life in Regency England. It's like Dan Brown, Carolyn Keene and Jane Austen combined together to create an epic entertainer! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 1/22/2011

    " Much about the culture of crime and punishment at that historic time. Well-researched. Some character development. Actually about a 3 1/2. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dave | 1/14/2011

    " Anti-Death Penalty rhetoric disguised as a light fiction-mystery???? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristy | 12/30/2010

    " A stand alone book, and one that is up to Cornwell's usual standards. "

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