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The Thief Taker: 1 MP3 CD – Unabridged, 9 September 2014
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About the Author
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (9 September 2014)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1491533579
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491533574
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 1.59 x 13.97 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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In this book, a woman is ritualistically and horribly murdered and it's plain that it won't be the only death. Thief Taker, Charlie Tuesday, takes on the dreadful case. However, with the plague taking its toll, the whole situation becomes not only dire, but problematic.
Under the historical setting of London during the plague epidemic, the mystery unfolds into a fabulous read. Intertwined, is facinating information about the lives, times and behaviours of Londoners during that period.
Quinn is a master-storyteller in my opinion. The narrative is layered and told via a few characters including the mysterious murderer and Charlie.
All the characters are well-defined and well-developed, as is the plot. The pacing is perfect and the imagery adds to the atmosphere.
The author never seems to tell us readers what to think, but allows us to muse upon the given information and work our way through all the circumstances - very satisfying and a sign of a good writer. There are clever twists and unexpected turns, too.
I highly recommend The Thief Taker to readers who like this genre mix, or to those who just enjoy good writing.
All in all a good account of the Plague horror as it spreads through England and a good unusual thriller.
A detective novel with a difference
A competently crafted story about a thief taker and his quarry (look it up on Wikipedia) set in a believably grim and realistic 17th century London. The story is compelling and interesting enough to read in a few sittings and I liked the main character and his various acquaintances. A bit of light humour in places helped to balance what could have been a dark and depressing setting.
Whilst relying a bit too much on happenstance for the plot, it was an entertaining read overall and I would certainly consider reading more in the series.
I have the sequel, but not on audible, so will have to plow through it page by page now.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is unashamedly farfetched, but that is what makes it. There are all sorts of boundaries that the writer presents. Like checkpoints in various districts of London. Outside of London, in the countryside, there are groups of vigilante patrols hell-bent on killing refugees fleeing the plague. This is to contain it.
The author makes a wonderful and diabolical way of showing the dying plague-ridden victims. They are contained in districts. They look like something from the walking dead. Like zombies, except in need of help and desperate to beseech anyone for spiritual or any other type of charity. Obviously, uninfected Londoners are desperate to be out of their way. It gets rather claustrophobic at times as one pictures these wretched and diseased people crawling and staggering towards you. This is a crime/historical/horror story. In parts, it is rather gory. We have a serial killer dressed as a plague doctor. A Thief Taker who is well out of his league trying to hunt the killer. He is also well out of his league with the gorgeous well to do lady who has hired him.
I can't help thinking this would make a grand modern Hammer House Horror production as a movie. I suppose it is classified as a historical crime story. However, I would class it as Horror too.
My only nitpick is one. The beginning was great. The first third of the story was engrossing. The middle third of the story petered down a bit. I thought it was going to lose its way. But then in the final third the whole tale bounced back with a second wind. A very good read and a rather unusual and compelling story.
The writer really captures the dire straights that Londoners were in during those times and the history tends to blend in with the history I was taught at school. You can smell the smells and I actually caught myself scratching my head as the writer described the lice under the wig of the Inn owner.
I had goose bumps more than once reading this book so if you suffer from after-book nightmares then don't read it.
No? I'm not going to tell you what the story is about just to say the main man is a sort of detective.
Well plotted, we are quickly caught up in the horrors and mystery surrounding the gruesome murder which sets the scene at the outset. Throw in the plague that ravaged a London still shaped by the civil war, Commonwealth and now the restoration of the monarchy, and there's goodnight authentic background of the lives of Londoners. We may be dismayed by the remedies used to treat and prevent the spread of the plague, knowing, as we do, the true cause. The killing of cats and dogs is particularly misguided. However, we don't have to go back very far to see how modern medicine really is very modern, in historical terms.
The plague died out eventually but cholera, typhus and diarrhoea, along with others, were like a plague. They spread quickly and caused many, many, deaths. They still do, dustressingly, in other countries and that really should not happen. It was happening here in the 1900s from some diseases. Diarrhoea killed the young and old, as did TB, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, influenza and others. Some are easily treated and with others, antibiotics was a real game changer.
In a the book we can see that there were huge efforts to limit the spread of the plague. They just didn't know enough to make their efforts work. This is obvious because rich and poor alike perished. Some sought to profit of course, they nearly always do. We are how volatile this period remained. It can appear that the Restoration meant Motorola were content to return to semblance of how life was before Charlie went loopy and thought he really did have Divine Right. That generally doesn't go well. Power went to Cromwells's head rather too, less disastrously for the people though and his didn't get chopped off. Not while he was alive anyway. The protectorate never achieved full public support but the unrest and divisions which fed the civil war didn't just disappear. Religion was as contentious as ever and restoration didn't, as the story shows, restore everyone's fortunes. Charlie 2's position was precarious and he didn't help matters. The times were anything but back to normal. It all brought us to where we are now though.
Crime was rife and probably flourished because of the plague, with rapid breakdown of law and order, in many parts of London. We see just how quickly things deteriorated and our Charlie the thieftaker, is dismayed by the changes wrought in just one week of absence. City and country are as like as a foreign country to Charlie Tuesday. Fortunately Charlie Tuesday is nothing if not resourceful. Torn by warring priorities he attempts to solve the terrible murders and bring the perpetrator to justice, as well as solve his own mystery. He is variously aided and hampered by the lady in the story and his relationship with her is just as varying. There are twists and turns aplenty as the different strands come together, part and merge again and principal characters of the time appear and disappear, throughout.
It's rather good