- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 43 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 20 Jan. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ3RI6
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Manor of Death Audiobook – Unabridged
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An irony. Crowner John is impatient with those who take their time before getting to the point. Some readers may feel similarly frustrated by Bernard Knight's preference for a leisurely telling, development of plot repeatingly slowing down to accommodate elaborate detail.
Fans will nevertheless find much to enjoy, perhaps even to shock. (Climatic revelations ensure that for all the main characters life will never again be the same.)
Those who followed the novels from the start emerge most knowledgeable about life in England from 1194 to 1166, a painstaking social history the background for intriguing murder mysteries. Perhaps the greatest surprise has been the portrayal of Richard I, in the whole of his reign only in the country a few months. Crippling taxes finance his foreign ventures; all those absences allow corruption to thrive; he is regarded by growing numbers a liability.
Yet Crowner John remains loyal to his king. Many readers will also have remained loyal to John - a flawed, austere, unlikely hero, doing his best to ensure order in troubled times.
Recommended, but it really does help to have read earlier works.
The books are set in 12th century Devon where Crowner (coroner) John has a running battle with. the corrupt Richard de Revelle, Sir John's brother.-in-law, and ex-sheriff. On the surface, for the sake of his wife, Sir John de Wolfe attempts to keep up a working relationship with his brother-in-law, but secretly he regards the sheriff with rank distaste. Sir John, a staunch supporter of Richard the Lionheart, has no time for Sir Richard, who is siding with Prince John while Richard is away.
The post of Crowner (coroner) is a relatively new one and Sir John is still treated with a great deal of mistrust, not least because of the fines that he must impose when there has been a violent death of any kind. So when Sir John is called to investigate an unidentified body found in Axmouth, he is not particularly concerned to find that the inhabitants of the town close ranks and are unwilling to divulge what, if anything they know about the manner of the young man's death.
It is only later that Sir John realises that the reticence among the seafarer's and townsfolk regarding the suspicious death is something far more sinister than the normal lack of interest in the duties of the newly appointed Coroner's office. Sir John will need all his powers of persuasion and his strong sword arm to see this case through to it's conclusion.
Love this book and have heard it time and again.
The History of the era has been thoroughly researched enabling the reader with a pictoral vision of what Britain was like.
My advice to new readers - read one book first then scour amazon for the remainder - these are addictive reading books.