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Requiem for an Angel: The Roth Trilogy Paperback – 4 Mar 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Omnibus edition edition (4 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007134363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007134366
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 5.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 610,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and many other awards. His books include the international bestseller, The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year; The Scent of Death, winner of the Historical Dagger; and The Silent Boy.

He is also the author of three Kindle Singles novellas - Broken Voices; The Leper House; and The Scratch.

He lives on the borders of England and Wales. He is the Spectator's crime fiction reviewer.

For more information about Andrew Taylor and his books, see:

Follow on twitter: @andrewjrtaylor

Product Description


‘Skilful, elegant, powerfully atmospheric, in which ancient evil shimmers like images trapped in a corridor of mirrors’ Philip Oakley, Literary Review

‘A highly praised trilogy of novels whose ecclesiastical background adds to the intense nature of the suspense. They inform not only the heart but the brain since Taylor is a writer blessed with great compassion as well as an unerring eye for historical detail. His flawed heroes and heroines and narrators are people you have met before in the street. Their dilemmas are murderously mundane, but the scale of their tragedies devastating’ Frances Fyfield, Sunday Express

From the Back Cover

'Nobody's perfect, says a little girl in a walled garden.'

Certainly not the child stolen from a shabby London Street. Or the sexually frustrated suburban vicar. Or at least of all, perhaps, the woman who runs out of good times and comes to perch like a cuckoo in the bosom of a perfect family.

'Requiem for an Angel' uncovers the secret history of a murderer, tracing the full damage and horror of an unforgiving killer over forty years. For the first time the three volumes of the Roth Trilogy can be read together as they were designed. A chilling account of one family's self-destruction, the story strips away the layers of the past like an archaeological l dig into the very nature of evil.

"A fascinating unravelling of the horrors that the past can visit on the present."

"Finely crafted… Taylor has established a sound reputation for writing tense novels that perceptively penetrate the human psyche."

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By reader-in-the-Fens on 11 April 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can recommend "Requiem for an Angel" as a series of gripping psychological crime novels, (all with an ecclesiastical theme), for its intricately crafted plots and ultimately, for its merit as an intelligent study on the nature of evil. In each book, the events are seen through the eyes of a different character, all of whom are connected by the warp and weft of the plot, over a period of 40 years.

This collection of three novels begins with "The Four Last Things", set in the present day. Lucy Appleyard, the daughter of Sally, a vicar working in a run-down parish, is abducted. Taylor challenges the reader with his sensitive yet disturbing portrayal of the social misfit and paedophile, Eddy - no mean feat - and his odd relationship with the woman known as "Angel". The novel keeps you gripped until the very last paragraph, where a shocking truth is revealed.

The next novel in the series, "The Judgment of Strangers" takes place in the promiscuous 1970s and concerns the Reverend David Byfield, vicar of Roth, a lonely widower whose decision to marry the frigid Vanessa unleashes a series of catastrophic events that lead to murder.

The final story, "The Office of the Dead" is told by Wendy Appleyard, recently separated from her unfaithful husband, who is taken in by her friend, Janet in the cathedral town of Rossington, near Cambridge. Coping as a woman on the brink of divorce in the late 1950s, Wendy's character is warm and all too human, as she becomes embroiled in this enclosed, masculine ecclesiastical world. Through her eyes, we witness a series of increasingly bizarre and troubling events as they unfold.

Then, there's the mysterious figure of Francis Youlgreave, Edwardian clergyman, poet and recluse, who though long dead, seems to direct and influence the main characters thoughout the entire trilogy.

An absolute gem of a book, beautifully written, intricate, chilling, profound and thoroughly entertaining.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "roonetta" on 3 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading the rave reviews it had received from Amazon readers. Unfortunately, I didn't think it deserved 5 stars and have only actually given it 3. The first book had me on the edge of my seat and a couple of times I thought I would have to give up on it due to its content about child pornography/murders. It was not that I haven't read similar books, and only goes to show how extremely well written this was, but it was just a little too "real" for me at times. However, I persevered and thoroughly enjoyed book 1. Books 2 and 3 however are a slight anti-climax in that there is no "mystery" because it is so obvious who is behind things. Nevertheless, I am glad I read Requiem, and once I had finished, I found myself wanting to read the book again, but this time from book 3 to 1 so you can fit the pieces of the jigsaw together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Grant on 16 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I love this trilogy - I read a lot of crime novels and thrillers, but rarely re-read them (what is the point of a whodunnit when you know who did it?), however, I have read this trilogy three times and will probably read it again in future. Unlike one of the other reviewers, I thought the reverse order of the books was excellent. It was fascinating delving further and further back into the past of the murderer; seeing the killer at a younger age in each subsequent book challenges the reader's natural antipathy towards the her. In the first book she is a monster; by the third she is something else, a strange child being moulded by circumstances into something terrible. One of my favourite reads.
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Format: Paperback
"My name is Nobody" says the little girl "because Nobody is perfect!" A tragic tale of how good intentions, the desire for peace in your own life and the problem of trying to be perfect.

The four last things: When little Lucy goes missing, her cop father and vicar mother are desperate to find her. Despite their shortcomings as parents- often irritated by Lucy's demands, happy to leave her at a child minders who clearly has too many children to watch- they both realise how much they need their daughter. The sense in this book is realistic to anyone who live in the urban setting where class systems and the modern world are squashed to gether, where urban communities hold so many types.
The house where the Appleyards live seems cramped with the difficuties of Sally & Micharl's jobs, thoughts, their marriage clearly strained and now haunted by Michael's godfather, the retired priest David Byfield.
In contrast, the house where Lucy is taken seems larger, filled with memories and shows what happens in suberbia at the bottom of the garden where the children play. Eddie, the abused and fearful co-jailor of Lucy, is someone you feel for as a person. He has been created by his parents into the kind of monstor you see in tabloid headlines about child abuse yet his perspective adds a bitter sweetness and even sympathy as he does his best to care for Lucy and to survive in a world which doesnt want him.
At the back of it all is Angel, the mastermind behind a plan of revenge that has been brewing for decades, all stemming from a disturbing poem by a Victorian Bishop.
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