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on September 2, 2017
Having just read a horrible book by a celebrated British author, whose books have been made into a bbc miniseries, I was so thankful for this Robinson book. The writing, so beautifully crafted, it leads you like a lamb, gently through the story. There are prompts and reminders sprinkled throughout, so you remember the characters and their relevance to the plot. You know where you are as a reader. Gentle reminders exist so you don't fall off track or need a cheat sheet. There aren't a jumble of superfluous characters and details to make you stumble and suspect you have early onset dementia because you can't keep it all straight. But most importantly, to me, is that my own fabulous husband left Yorkshire at 25 years of age and in this book is his voice, too, of a yearning for a landscape and a people that time can't erase. A beautiful depiction of a beautiful place, wonderfully crafted... ah, a book to keep you engaged. You know where this book sits in the house and you can't wait to get back to it. The depictions of the characters, so rich, so visual, you fall for Grace, you can see the era, the dress, the town. It's an incredible thing, to storytell as the author does.
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on April 24, 2017
Excellent.
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on January 18, 2017
After a very successful career in Hollywood as a composer for films, Chris Lowndes returns to the peaceful dales of his Yorkshire childhood after the death of his beloved wife. His real estate agent has found an estate home in an isolated area where he hopes to work on his musical compositions as he attempts to work through his grief and move on with his life. What he learns soon after his arrival is that a murder took place here 50 years ago. Grace Fox the beautiful young wife of the local doctor was convicted of her husband's murder was the last woman hanged. The family's portrait still hangs in the foyer and Chris is drawn, almost obsessively, into learning more about this woman's story. As he searches to find out more about her past, he uncovers many unexpected secrets long buried by meeting the people who once knew her and listening to their stories about her kindness and courage. Her granddaughter shares the wartime diary Grace kept as a WWII nurse that provides many insights in to her courage and her character. It was a compelling read and I found I could hardly put it down until I finished it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 1, 2016
In 1953, a woman is convicted of murdering her much older husband in order to be with her lover; as was done in England at that time, she is subsequently hanged for her offense. In 2010, her house in Yorkshire is bought by a composer of music for films, as he mourns the recent death of his wife. While he works on a new composition, he finds himself more and more fascinated by the long-ago murder, and as he starts digging into the past, he begins to wonder if there had been a massive miscarriage of justice all those years ago…."Before the Poison" is a stand-alone novel from Peter Robinson, best known for his Inspector Banks series, and it’s quite an amazing book, ranging as it does from topics as diverse as snow storms to medical experimentation to war crimes; absolutely riveting and highly recommended!
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on May 16, 2016
Very unusual book. Both myself and my wife loved it. Highly recommended.
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on June 28, 2015
Intriguing and different from Peter Robinson's usual.
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on November 29, 2014
I liked it a lot. Quite different than Robinson's usual story but captivating.
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on November 21, 2014
Really enjoyed this book!!!!!! Thanks......
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on December 2, 2013
This stilted novel is at one with it's stilted narrator. What a waste of time! I really don't know what Robinson was trying to achieve with this claptrap effort. I usually enjoy his fiction but this novel has actually changed my view of him as a writer. I don't think I will bother reading anything else by him for a very long time. Save your money and your time: avoid this book.
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on March 7, 2013
Disappointing for a Peter Robinson book, I found the main character weak and lacking in credibility, the whole story seemed somehow contrived. I have read every book by this author and would therefore consider myself a fan, but I did not enjoy this one.
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