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The Poisoned Island Audio CD – 28 May 2013

29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (28 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471230929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471230929
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,350,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It seems a bit weird to introduce myself here. If you wandered into a real-world bookstore and there was an author standing there offering to fire random facts about himself at you, it'd be a bit off-putting. Or perhaps it'd be nice to bump into David Mitchell or Stephen King as you're browsing the racks.

So I'll keep this short, and do tell me to go away if it's getting a bit weird.

My name's Lloyd. I live in South London. I've got two children and a lovely wife (she's the chief executive of a literacy charity). I've written three books. I hope to write a good few more.

My first three books - The English Monster, The Poisoned Island and Savage Magic - are set in London in the early 19th century. They feature a detective who's never heard the word detective - a constable called Charles Horton - and his boss, magistrate John Harriott. Horton and Harriott are from the River Police Office in Wapping, London's second police office after Bow Street. The crimes they investigate are not quite what they seem to be.

If you're interested, I enjoy reading literary fiction and stuff at the more speculative end of the spectrum - horror, fantasy and science fiction. My favourite book is The Portrait of a Lady. My favourite author - possibly by virtue of how many of his books I've read - is Stephen King. The best novels I've read recently were The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman and Gillespie and I by Jane Harris.

I blog at www.lloydshepherd.com, I've got a Facebook page (Lloyd Shepherd: Author) and a pretty active Twitter account (@lloydshep). Do come and say hello. We can talk, then, without me feeling that I'm intruding.

Happy shopping!

Product Description

London, 1812. When the crew of the 'Solander', a ship carrying rare specimens of plant from the paradise island of Otaheite, are found dead, their faces twisted into hideous expressions, Detective Charles Horton is put in charge of the investigation. It becomes clear that this is a mystery that began near the foot of great Tahiti Nui, in the shadow of a dead volcano, beneath the eyes of unforgiving ancient gods.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TopCat on 2 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Poisoned Island is so much more than an excellent piece of historical fiction. Set at the start of the nineteenth century and introducing the crew of the Solander, recently returned from a botanical expedition to Tahiti, the storyline quickly develops into a murder mystery. Trying to piece together the grisly clues are the River Police detection team of Horton and Harriott, who return from Shepherd's strong debut book, The English Monster.

What I particularly liked about this book was not only the fascinating plot, (the link to the health of 'Mad King' George III was really clever), but also the fast-paced story line. I'm quite an intensive reader and this is one of those books that grabs you immediately and a book around which you find yourself adjusting your schedule to read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan D on 10 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic read. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or of CSI, there is something here for everyone. Shepherd has really stepped up on his first novel, "The English Monster", which is also a cracking read by the way. The Poisoned Island is a murder mystery that hooks the reader from start to finish, whilst at the same time educating us into some of the murkier aspects of British colonialist and scientific history. I picked this up and had finished it within a couple of days - not my usual style. I am very much looking forward to the next instalment of Horton and Harriott, the original detectives, who could easily become the next Holmes and Watson. You will love it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liz Wilkins on 23 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
First of all I should perhaps make clear that I havent read "The English Monster" which precedes this novel but it did not detract from my enjoyment of "The Poisoned Island" one bit.

LONDON 1812: For forty years Britain has dreamed of the Pacific island of Tahiti, a dark paradise of bloody cults and beautiful natives. Now, decades after the first voyage of Captain Cook, a new ship returns to London, crammed with botanical specimens and, it seems, the mysteries of Tahiti.
When, days after the Solander's arrival, some of its crew are found dead and their sea-chests ransacked - their throats slashed, faces frozen into terrible smiles, John Harriott, magistrate of the Thames river police, puts constable Charles Horton in charge of the investigation.

The way I would describe this novel in one word is "Rich". The prose is terrific and draws you straight into another world. Characterisation is top notch and as someone who doesnt really "do" historical fiction I was immediately hooked. The streets of London live in this book - familiar places but with an unfamiliar way of living, the sense of place is amazing. The mystery is intriguing...and although I know absolutely nothing about this period in History it all felt very authentic.

Its difficult to review this book - another one where almost anything you would love to say will probably include spoilers...I think I'm just going to leave with this. If you are looking for something highly intriguing, a little bit different to the norm and have an interest in History then this one is for you. Certainly, although I am late to the party, I shall be picking up a copy of "The English Monster" soon. Nicely done Mr Shepherd.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the copy of this book via netgalley

Happy Reading Folks!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Johns on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Near the foot of great Tahiti Nui, in the shadow of the dead volcano and beneath the hungry eyes of ancient gods, the young Englishman chased his princess through the forest, despite the best efforts of the forest to stop him."
This powerfully written beginning gives a taste of events on the island visited by Captain Cook and subsequently exploited for its botanical specimens. The strength of writing in the first chapter of The Poisoned Island ensures you will read on to discover how the innocence and beauty of the island of Tahiti is linked with more hideous killings for Constable Horton and John Harriott - Magistrate of the Thames River Police- to ponder. As in Shepherd's first novel 'The English Monster' these men delve into hideous and unexplained violence which the River Thames presents to them. Meticulous research lies behind the historical and geographical credibility of both threads of plot and (often not the case in parallel plot novels) both are equally vivid and enjoyable to read while contrasting in atmosphere.

Is the story an allegory for the embarrassment we should feel as a nation for our exploitation of other people and places in the past. If so it is finely and subtly woven within events set in motion when ships return carrying their botanical riches and Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society works to further botanical knowledge. After reading 'The Poisoned Island' you may wander somewhat uneasily through the glasshouses of Kew.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having always been fascinated by Captain Cook and Joseph Banks ( no, my son is not called Endeavour!) and being a devotee of historical whodunnits I thought I'd give this a try. Really glad I did. The plot centres around a ship full of botanical specimens being brought back to London from Tahiti - destination Bank's Kew Gardens, and an outbreak of ferocious murders. The twists and turns and the characterisations keep you turning the page. Yes, I could work out what was coming next but that didn't affect my enjoyment. It was a great read for a horrible rainy day. Nice to find a whodunnit that was set in a time other than the Tudors. I'll certainly look out for other books by this author.
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