- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 30 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 19 Mar. 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J2AYD16
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A Commonplace Killing Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Busby's characters are a bit squalid, like their physical surroundings; morally compromised (petty criminals, fences, spivs, sleeping with people they shouldn't) but one of Busby's hallmarks as a writer is her empathy with, understanding of and compassion for people and choices that many would dismiss with a judgmental word or two. And so you find yourself caring about the war-traumatised thief, about the diminished husband, about the hard-edged victim, about her brittle, feckless lodger, about the weary police officer who can't do a good enough job.
As well as standing as an achievement in its own right as wonderfully conceived and executed book, A Commonplace Killing is also an extraordinary achievement for Busby, who was dying of cancer as it was being completed. When she died in September 2012, her husband, BBC business editor Robert Peston, found the final part of the book handwritten in her notebook; he transcribed the final pages so that the book could be published posthumously. As he explains in the foreword to the novel, "I did not know, until reading handwriting as familiar as my own and hearing her voice in my head, that she had finished this exquisite work.Read more ›
Lillian's husband, Walter, has returned home from war to a bomb-damaged house, a wife who no longer loves him, a frail incontinent mother-in-law and a lodger who does not pay her rent. His prospects are not bright. Lillian is desperate to escape this scenario. She even misses the odd fling that she had during the war. Now her domestic life is depressing; rationing , shortages, queuing ,the black market are everyday events. The story leading to Lillian's murder is set against the bleak and authentic atmosphere of a run down crime-ridden area filled with vivid imagery of a ruined area. Sian Busby's narrative utilises the dialect of the times portraying in graphic detail the features of the location 'heavy with loneliness, shadowy with the ruin of lives and homes'. She draws her characters in a way they can readily be identified with by the reader.
Sian Busby has written an impressive authoritative novel of authenticity. It is melancholic, atmospheric and heart-rending. The circumstances surrounding the publication of this book are well-known and add to the sense of loss and poignancy.
In the opening chapter we are made aware that the setting is London. It is the summer of 1946. A woman's body has been found by some children playing on a disused bomb site and DDI Jim Cooper is tasked with leading the investigation.
It took me a while to get used to the style and pacing of this novel. However, once I'd worked my way through the first few chapters, I got into the flow of this crime drama. Although I am far too young to have been around at that particular period, I did, nevertheless, feel I had been given a realistic insight into the lives of the working-class folk who had to survive and make ends meet during those rather bleak economic times. Also, I thought the writer effectively moved the story back and forth between different time-frames in order to slowly peel away the events leading up to the tragic death of the murdered woman.
This rather gloomy tale was well written but could have done with a injection of humour for my liking. All in all though, this was a satisfying read and made a welcome change to the kind of crime novels I am usually drawn to.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story takes place just after the end of WWII. It paints a very dismal picture of life for poorer people living in a bombed out London. Read morePublished 2 months ago by francophile
Brilliant novel, extremely absorbing and atmospheric. Could not put it down. Purchased the audio version (read wonderfully) to listen to in the car and the book to pick it back up... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sarah
The writing is marvellous, the characters well drawn and I was especially impressed with the way the author described the gloom of post war Britain. Read morePublished 4 months ago by B. Bampton
An interesting story set in post war London. The book is well researched and acts as a reminder to those of us old enough to remember how far we have come in the 60 plus years... Read morePublished 5 months ago by bizzybee