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Extended Audio Sample The Watchers Audiobook, by Jon Steele Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (685 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Steele Narrator: Jonathan Davis Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781101564264
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Beneath Lausanne Cathedral, in Switzerland, there is a secret that was buried before time began, something unknown to both angels and men … until now.

Every hour, childlike Marc Rochat circles the Lausanne cathedral as the watchmen have done for centuries. Then one day a beautiful woman draws him out of the shadows—the angel his mother once promised him would come.

But Katherine Taylor is no angel. She’s one of the toughest and most resourceful call girls in Lausanne—until something unnatural seething beneath a new client’s request sends her fleeing to the sanctuary of an unlikely protector.

Into their refuge comes Jay Harper. The private detective has awakened in Lausanne with no memory of how he got there—and only one thing driving him forward: a series of unsettling murders he feels compelled to solve.

Pray for the three strangers. They have something in common they can’t begin to imagine. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A seductive cosmic thriller stoked by historic fact, an ancient Jewish religious text, and a literary classic... Steele’s lavishly atmospheric, witty, bloody, and swashbuckling tale of age-old struggles for dominion between angels and demons is the propitious first book in an ambitious series. Booklist (starred) 
     

  • An imaginative metaphysical thriller… Steele keeps his tale tantalizingly ambiguous, casting it with fey characters and skillfully concealing until the climax whether apparent weird events haven’t been manipulated to make them seem so. This solidly plotted tale, the first in a trilogy, will appeal to readers who like a hint of uncanny in their fiction. Publishers Weekly
  • “A first novel (and first in a series) from Steele, for years a master cameraman for Independent Television News and author of War Junkie, an underground classic; really smart work for serious thriller readers. Library Journal
  • Reads like Paradise Lost by way of John Connolly, although Steele, formerly a war reporter, brings hard-edged modernity to this timeless tale as he roots his depiction of evil in the contemporary world. Clever, stylish and epic in scale, it’s a tremendously satisfying debut. Irish Times

  • “An imaginative metaphysical thriller Steele keeps his tale tantalizingly ambiguous, casting it with fey characters and skillfully concealing until the climax whether apparent weird events haven’t been manipulated to make them seem so. This solidly plotted tale, the first in a trilogy, will appeal to readers who like a hint of uncanny in their fiction.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A seductive cosmic thriller stoked by historic fact, an ancient Jewish religious text, and a literary classic... Steele’s lavishly atmospheric, witty, bloody, and swashbuckling tale of age-old struggles for dominion between angels and demons.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Reads like Paradise Lost by way of John Connolly, although Steele, formerly a war reporter, brings hard-edged modernity to this timeless tale as he roots his depiction of evil in the contemporary world. Clever, stylish and epic in scale, it’s a tremendously satisfying debut.”

    Irish Times

  • “Jonathan Davis’ narration is outstanding. He balances the distinct accents of the three principals while deftly portraying Russian, Swiss, and French characters. This long book is enjoyable every step of the way.” 

    AudioFile

  • Selected for the June 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean-Paul Adriaansen | 2/16/2014

    " The ancient cathedral of Lausanne (Switzerland) becomes the playground for the eternal fight between good and evil. A crippled, simpleminded belfry watcher, an amnesiac detective, and an American high society call girl are the unwilling and unknowing players in this captivating, thrilling story. You can't stop reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naomi | 2/14/2014

    " Hooked so far, cant wait to see what happens with this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shari | 1/27/2014

    " Awesome book! I want there to be a movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cooper Renner | 1/26/2014

    " 4 stars within its genre, of course, not in comparison to fine writing like Joseph Roth's Flight Without End. Steele's book is however a fine thriller, lean and restrained in ways that most thrillers are obvious and dumb. His three main plot threads weave toward each other slowly, without Steele's banging us over the head with it, keeping the individual stories interesting even when we don't know how they're going to intersect. And Marc Rochat is one of the finest characterizations I've ever seen in a novel of this sort, inspired perhaps by the Hunchback of Notre Dame: charming, endearing, affecting, both handicapped and immensely gifted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/26/2014

    " I started listening to The Watchers on audiobook. I would not recommend the audiobook, not because it isn't well done, but because you will find yourself in the car or in public saying "What in the heck is going on?" This book builds slowly offering a ton of backstory and detail about its setting, which is a character in the novel itself. I gave this book three stars because parts of it I loved and parts of it I hated. But I became invested to the point that when I arrived at my destination, I downloaded the ebook and finished it. I hated what happened at the end, but I see why it happened. I will probably pick up the second book in the series when it comes out in summer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 1/15/2014

    " 3.5 stars - some of the characters are strongly drawn (Marc) and some are weaker and some very confusing (although that may have been due to my reading too fast to find out what happens.) Other readers have commented that the book starts off slowly, but I didn't find that to be a problem and only added to the end game. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 1/8/2014

    " This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. And that's saying quite a lot. It did take some work to get into it. The characters names and roles are hard to understand and the story begins somewhere in the middle so it took a few chapters before I was fully drawn in, but then I was. Was it the perfect story? No, it wasn't and there are things I definitely wanted to have more information about or to have told differently, but some of the concepts in the book are so thought-provoking. A Quasimodo type bell ringer in the cathedral turns out to be a protector of angels. The angels Michael and Gabriel are not who you would imagine them to be and a high class prostitute manages to outsmart and outrun some evil demons. Okay, so some of the characters are a little trite but some turn out to be quite different from what you expect. I disagree with the view that God set the world in motion and then just turned away and that Christ was just one of many angels sent to redeem the good in mankind, but I like the idea that Gabriel soaks up the anger and bitterness and death that is still flowing in the air around the world on a daily basis to protect the creation. Now, I'm really simplifying the story line and the deep philosophical and religious statements of the book, but that's a quick summary. The writing is strong, the story advances with surprises, both good and bad, and the characters are not all good or all bad (except for the most evil of the demons) and so I found it to be a good read on two levels, for the fun of the good vs. evil story and for the deeper religious messages that did get me thinking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Annie | 1/5/2014

    " The story was fine but remote and the characters lacked resonance. I think I would have liked them better if I had met them on the street than read about them in a book. I guess ultimately I didn't trust the author's writing. There wasn't a lot of feeling in it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 1/4/2014

    " I listened to this book while at work. I was deeply disappointed that I didn't get more into it. It seemed confusing and boring in spots too. I probably would have liked it better/more if I had read it instead. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ivan Voras | 11/28/2013

    " Boring and incoherent. A book where you can safely skip the first 300 pages and not miss anything even remotely important. Terribly clicheed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andy Plonka | 11/27/2013

    " This one had too many diverse elements that I don't like such as fantasy, scifi and time travel to appeal to me. Also its length at almost 600 pages without a cohesive story to draw me in made it a chore rather than a delight to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frederik | 10/21/2013

    " I just kept reading and reading till it was done and then I was sad because the story was over and because of the ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/12/2013

    " This book took way too long to bring the three characters' narratives together and to have some action. I thought some of the scenes were inappropriately descriptive. I didn't enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 5/31/2013

    " Interesting premise and characters. Made me want to visit Switzerland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose Ann | 5/25/2013

    " I did not expect the emotional attachment I would have to the character of Marc Rochat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eileen | 4/13/2013

    " Slow to start, great towards the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin Crowder | 10/21/2012

    " Loved the story, would've given more stars but it was SO slow. And I feel that the whole first half of the book had no reason to be there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle (tinyturtle88) | 7/10/2012

    " I would rate this a 3.5, it took until almost halfway through the book before I was emotionally invested. I got lost a little along the way. I did happen to get attached to the main character, Mark. And there were some lovely moments. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/28/2012

    " What an amazing book! I really dig the twist on the Book of Enoch and the eternal battle between good and evil. I highly suggest this book simply because it truly was on of "those" books that I couldn't put down. "

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About the Author

Jon Steele worked as an award-winning cameraman for twenty-two years, traveling and working through more than seventy countries across six continents for Independent Television News of London. While based in Moscow and Jerusalem, he wrote War Junkie, a gut-wrenching memoir covering a year in the life of a news cameraman. In 2003, in Baghdad on the eve of the Iraq War, Steele became disillusioned with television news, put his camera on the ground, and quit. The Watchers is Steele’s first novel. He now lives in Switzerland.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Davis has received widespread critical acclaim for his narration in a variety of genres. He has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2009, 2011, and 2012, as well as being a finalist for an Audie in 2007, 2013, and three times in 2014. He has also garnered accolades from Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and AudioFile magazine and has earned more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards.