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Roots of Evil [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Rayne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

When schoolteacher Trixie Smith turns up asking questions about legendary film actress Lucretia von Wolff, Lucy Trent is not unduly alarmed. She rather enjoys the notoriety surrounding her glamorous but infamous grandmother, whose lovers were legion, whose scandals were numerous, whose life ended abruptly in a bizarre double murder and suicide at the Ashwood film studios in 1952.
Trixie Smith has uncovered information which she believes throws new light on the Ashwood case. In particular, she wants to know more about Alraune, the illegitimate child Lucretia was alleged to have borne at the outbreak of WWII. The child whose existence is surrounded in mystery. The child who may never have existed at all.
But Trixie Smith's enquiries are brought to an untimely end. Some days later, her mutilated corpse is discovered at the derelict site of the old Ashwood studios.
In the ensuing murder investigation, Lucy is to discover disturbing facts about her family's poignant and often tragic history - a history which stretches from the glittering concert halls of 1920s Vienna to the bleak environs of wartime Auschwitz - and at the heart of it all lies the shocking truth about the mysterious child called Alraune.

Product Description


"'She has a crisp and intelligent style, and a real way with tension' MO HAYDER 'Clever and atmospheric... a compelling read' Good Book Guide 'When you get halfway through, you won't be able to stop... The varied cast of characters are so well-drawn that they get under your skin long before you reach the gripping climax' Big Issue 'Rayne's wealth of intriguing characters and situations has you continually putting two and two together and making five, but when the truth emerges, you wonder why you didn't see it coming. Clues to all the bizarre twists and turns are there, but so well constructed that each time you are taken by surprise' Western Daily Press"

About the Author

Sarah Rayne is the pseudonym of a well-known British author who has written several highly-praised novels. She lives in Staffordshire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 643 KB
  • Print Length: 596 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1847393519
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (17 Nov. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9GOE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sarah Rayne's first novel was published in 1982, and for several years she juggled writing books with working in property, pounding an elderly typewriter into the small hours in order to meet deadlines.
Much of the inspiration for her dark psychological thrillers comes from the histories and atmospheres of old buildings, a fact that is strongly apparent in many of her settings - Mortmain House in A Dark Dividing, Twygrist Mill in Spider Light, and the Tarleton Theatre in Ghost Song.
She has written more than 25 books to date, and her work has met with considerable acclaim, with Tower of Silence being long-listed for the 2005 Theakston's Award. Her books are also published in America, as well as having been translated into German, Dutch, Russian and Turkish.
In 2011 she published the first of a series of ghost-themed books, featuring the Oxford don, Michael Flint, and the antiques dealer, Nell West, who made their debut in Property of a Lady.
Several years ago Sarah also wrote six contemporary horror books, originally under the pen-name of Frances Gordon and recently re-issued in e-Book format.
To find out more about Sarah Rayne, visit her website or YouTube channel, or follow her on Facebook -

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant 28 Aug. 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second book I have read by Sarah Rayne and I would just like to say that she has now become my new favourite author. I absolutely loved this book. It is totally engrossing, from the modern plotline with the hilariously prim Edmund to the wonderful tales of the past. I love the fact that Sarah Rayne writes these thrillers but there's a touch of humour in there as well. I didn't want to put it down at all. Fantastic.
The only problem with reading such a great book is that everything else falls flat afterwards, though I can't wait to read her others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ROOTS OF EVIL. 26 April 2013
By no means the easiest of reads, Roots Of Evil is definitely a contender for the most confusing and possibly frustrating book I have ever read.

Flitting back and forth between present day England and 'cousins' Lucy and Edmund, 1920's Vienna and the 'birth' of the enigmatic Lucretia von Wolff, and the concentration camp of Auschwitz was difficult enough but even more confusing was that the whole novel reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle that slowly, piece by piece, is seemingly coming together to reveal the whole picture until you realise several pieces seem to be missing.

Intriguing rather then enjoyable, one of those books I feel I shouldn't have liked and yet did. Dark and yet sinister in a somewhat understated kind of way, at times, gruesomely graphic, it read like a Gothic horror novel. At others like the worst kind of 'slasher' novel though, oddly enough, with echoes of Shakespeare's King Lear.

Without a doubt a very different read and one well worth persevering with (thank goodness all of the pieces did eventually come together even if it was sometimes hundreds of pages later) despite all of the largely implausible twists and turns of the plot and fairly stereotypical characters.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.

Roots of Evil
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have just finished reading ROOTS OF EVIL and felt compeld to let others know just what an amazing and intreaging story it is.

I was utterly mezmerised and fasinated at this twisty and whinding plot that seemlessly goes back and forth in time from a present day horrificly gory murder, to the concert halls of 1920,s Vienna and then to the concentration camps of Auschwitz.

After reading Roots of evil i can visualize every person in the cast perfectly and although the tale is compleatly far fetched it is not far fetched enough to compleatly dismiss that some thing like this could really have happend. I can not write about ROOTS of Evil without a mention to the undoudted star in this whole bizzar story, and that is the Baroness Lucritia Von Wolff, the most amazing charaterization i have ever encounted.

This beautifuly crafted plot was part gothic horror, part murder mystery, part romance and part adventure. Madness, scandal, family skeletons, "ghost children", country houses, double identity, historcal reality and Drama, Drama, Drama is waiting for the readers inside these pages. Some bits of the story made me squirm so much with horror that i had to put it down for a second, other parts were exstreamly sad, and other parts gliteringly romantic. The story just builds and builds in to a dazzleing web until you can not rest until you know the whole truth. Every thing that you read on the pages was so well crafted that it came to life as though you were whatching a film , and what a film this story would make.

This is no ordinary murder story and it certainly does not have your typical thriller caracters, it is without any doubt the most complex and exciting novel i have read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Psychological Thriller 15 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I very much enjoy Sarah Rayne books and have read a good many. She is particularly good at weaving the past with the present and producing a psychological thriller. This book is no exception and I enjoyed it very much.
Everything you could want from a thriller is in here - changing between the past & present, intrigue, psychological drama, ghosts, scandal, some celebrity and some rather intense moments including concentration camp scenes which were almost horrific & certainly very moving.
A discovery of a dead body behind some disused studios starts of a chain of events where Lucy Trent starts to discover her family's past is not quite what she thought. As the intricate plot unravels pieces come together to produce a picture which is far from that which the reader could have imagined. My attention was gripped & this was a late night read as I rushed to see what happened.
Another excellent psychological thriller from this author which I struggled to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Rayne at her best 22 April 2009
Sarah Rayne is my most recent and much find. What an amazing author. She writes with such clarity that gets you involved with each individual character and brings them vividly to life. I especially enjoy how Sarah brings history into her books and every book I read I learn a little more from the past.
A root of Evil is a tale about families dark past and present that unreels through the memories of an old lady. This book has plenty of twist and turns and has you hooked from the start to the very last pages and does keep you guessing. I even shed a tear at the end!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this
Sarah Rayne`s books take you into another world and stay with you long afterwards. A fascinating tragic tale, gruesome in places but appropriately so. One of her best.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me hooked all the way through
I am a recent fan of Sarah Rayne having only just discovered her books I have only read two up to now and have enjoyed reading both - I will certainly be trying some more
Published 11 months ago by S
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
If you like a slightly spooky 'who dunnit' that keeps you turning the pages to find out more, buy this!
Published 23 months ago by LUCY B
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Ol Sarah
Another scorcher by Sarah Raynew! Great psycho author however she does tend to flit between past and present in her books and I know some people find this frustrating, but her... Read more
Published on 11 Feb. 2013 by Claire
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping
About the third of her books I have read, most are excellent. This one had a gripping story, pulled you in and , as with her other novels, a byline, a story from the past, in this... Read more
Published on 27 Mar. 2011 by Ichabod
4.0 out of 5 stars patcham
I bought this book looking for someting different. I liked the book, it is well written and to start with I was fascinated by the conjoined twins and would have loved to know more... Read more
Published on 9 Aug. 2008 by patricia
and a part of me really did want to rip this book to bits and scream -
Published on 4 July 2008 by Leeds lass
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Bought this book on impulse in a cheap bookstore and it was marked down to £2. Didn't have time to go to one of the big bookshops in town and I can't be without something to... Read more
Published on 26 Jun. 2008 by Helen Witts
1.0 out of 5 stars Roots of Evil fails to spark
Rather disappointing. I found this novel to be clumsily written with weak characterisation, weak dialogue and a cliche ridden, totally silly plot. Read more
Published on 20 Dec. 2006 by Colin Judd
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