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Extended Audio Sample Instruments of Darkness: A Novel Audiobook, by Imogen Robertson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,143 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Imogen Robertson Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781452670461
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In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense’s newest investigative duo is born.

For years, Mrs. Westerman has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once-great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.

Instruments of Darkness combines the brooding atmosphere of Anne Perry with the complex, compelling detail of Tess Gerritsen, moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from coffee house to country inn. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are both razor-sharp minds, and their personalities breathe spirit into this gripping historical mystery.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lucy | 2/16/2014

    " A reasonable mystery novel, with a bit of a CSI in the 18th Century twist. The problem with this novel is that it is a period piece that gives no real feel of the time it is set in. It is almost like the author read Jane Austen and thought "Well, everyone knows about all that society stuff, so I'll just include some historical references and people will get it". As a result, if it weren't for the mention of the American War Of Independence and other key events this novel could have been set at any time from 1770-1914. But of a failure in its aim really. That said the characters are dark and different, and apparently the author is realising a sequel, so maybe no-one else cares about historical accuracy! (except me and Hilary Mantel!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett Dewey | 2/5/2014

    " Murder mystery in 1780 English countryside. A fun visit to the time and place... The mystery isn't all that complex, but halfway through it picks up an impressive pace - a fine ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyne | 2/4/2014

    " Very good... The plot was somewhat easy to predict, but it was an enjoyable and well-written story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 1/30/2014

    " Escapism - the plot is really only one step above a romance novel, but the writing is alright and I am on vacation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krysia | 1/28/2014

    " Excellent first historical mystery set during a week in Georgian England during the Gordon Riots. Fast moving, gripping very enjoyable first read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah Swift | 1/22/2014

    " Loved this dark and mysterious tale - gripped me from the beginning. The sort of book that leaves you wanting more and characters that you will want to follow into another book. Unusual feisty female protagonist copes with eccentric and creepy house and occupants. The period is nicely conjured without being heavy-handed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerelyn | 1/19/2014

    " Just terrific! review to follow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise Livesey | 1/8/2014

    " An OK cross between historical fiction and crime fiction. Settings good but plot rather predictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina House | 12/30/2013

    " I really liked the idea of the story and it was well written. I just wish the story had more momentum - I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but kept forgetting to pick it back up. Still, it was worth my time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harriet | 12/27/2013

    " A good historical forensic mystery. Interesting characters and plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindy | 12/21/2013

    " Looking forward to reading more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/11/2013

    " Quite well-done. I'm looking forward to reading the next one. My two complaints were that the language at times seemed incongruous with the setting and the ending was a bit sensational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 10/21/2013

    " A great mystery and well written characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frances | 7/12/2013

    " Loved this. Like the historical detail and the characters. Couldn't work out how it was going to end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 5/26/2013

    " Not great but not bad British historical mystery. There are some interesting characters but the mystery itself is predictably resolved and there is a lot of clunky language and not much suspense. Just blah, kind of like this review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sallyann Van leeuwen | 9/16/2012

    " Interesting characters keep you intrigued throughout this book. Will definitely look for the next books in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane S. | 9/4/2012

    " Just love historical English mysteries and this first novel is a worthy addition to that genre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debra | 7/13/2012

    " I didn't finish- in fact I didn't get much past about 40-50 pages. Not sure why I couldn't get into it but I know the action was a little slow for me in the place I am right now. I might try it again later as it seems like something I would usually like to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon Burrows | 6/21/2012

    " Just that great right to the end! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/5/2012

    " It was ok. I think I would have liked it better if I had more time to read and didn't stretch it out over 2 weeks in half hour increments. It is set in the late 1700s which isn't my thing but the story was good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 11/16/2011

    " The author tells this story from 3 points of view, 3 locations, and 2 different time periods. And she pulls it off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fran | 5/14/2011

    " good period mystery - classic English mystery with lots of detail about living in the 1780s. good beach read-looking forward to the next in the series "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rmmsc | 5/14/2011

    " Looking forward to reading more of her books.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie | 5/2/2011

    " Crime drama and historial fiction: my favorite kind of reading. Set in Sussex in 1780, a body is found near an estate. The story involves family loyalty, an estranged heir, aftermath of the American Revolution, science, and (in a way) women's rights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karyn | 4/26/2011

    " Loved it! Definitely looking forward to more books by this author! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 4/18/2011

    " An OK cross between historical fiction and crime fiction. Settings good but plot rather predictable.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deshay | 4/17/2011

    " This is one of the best historical mysteries I have read in a long time. Loved the setting and the quirky characters. Looking forward to more adventures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 4/16/2011

    " Very good Georgian set mystery. First book by this author, looking for more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 4/13/2011

    " Excellent, suspenseful but had a good pace. Stories woven together well as the plot at the center becomes clearer. A great debut novel and set of sleuths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindi | 3/21/2011

    " I really loved this mystery about the wife of a Captain Wentworth-ish naval man who teams up with a reclusive anatomist in 1780 England to solve a string of gruesome mysteries. The interesting thing is that I had a good idea of who and why, but it was still so compelling! "

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About the Author
Author Imogen Robertson

Imogen Robertson studied Russian and German at Cambridge University and has worked as a television, film, and radio director. In 2007 she won the Telegraph’s First Thousand Words of a Novel competition with what would become Instruments of Darkness, her first novel. She currently lives in London.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.