Before the Poison

  • by Peter Robinson
  • Narrated by Simon Slater, Sandra Duncan, Al Senter
  • 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Through years of success in Hollywood composing music for Oscar-winning films, Chris Lowndes always imagined he would come full circle, home to Yorkshire with his beloved wife, Laura. Now he's back in the Yorkshire Dales, but Laura is dead, and Chris needs to make a new life for himself.
The isolated house he buys sight unseen should give him the space to come to terms with his grief and the quiet to allow to him to work. Kilnsgate House turns out to be rather more than he expected, however. A man died there, 60 years ago. His wife was convicted of murder. And something is pulling Chris deeper and deeper into the story of Grace Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck until she was dead....
Peter Robinson's first departure from the Banks series in over 20 years is a poignant exploration of guilt, self-sacrifice, and redemption ,and a novel of unsettling psychological suspense. Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Peter Robinson at his very best.

As a long-standing fan of DI Alan Banks, I was not sure I'd take easily to his absence from a Peter Robinson novel, but ‘Before the Poison’ has convinced me that Mr. Robinson does not need the established figure of DI Banks to prove his worth as a writer of gripping fiction. I was intrigued from the outset; Robinson uses the familiar setting of a brooding, wintry Yorkshire - a landscape which he has always painted extremely vividly - and has peopled it with believable, often likeable, characters. Earlier on in the book we are treated to some wonderfully spine-tingling moments, brought about by Chris Lowe's ‘visions’ when he is alone in the house, but we are never thrust into the realms of pure fantasy. Chris is sensitive, but we are never led to believe he is ‘flaky’ or impressionable.
Grace Fox's narrative is, for me, the most engrossing element of the book, developing her character whilst making no direct reference to the crime for which she was hanged. I also found it surprising as I had never before heard Robinson speak so convincingly with a woman’s voice.
Simon Slater does an admirable job of portraying a range of characters: male, female, transatlantic and Yorkshire born-and-bred but his young, mellifluous voice made it difficult for me to visualise a 60-year-old man. For some reason I kept imagining a character resembling Rupert Penry-Jones. An older voice would have made it easier to put a face to Chris Lowe’s character.
This aside, I was completely absorbed in the story. I loved the many layers of the developing plot, the red herrings – oh yes, I was totally convinced I’d ‘got it’ on at least two occasions! – the drawing together of all the threads and now, 24 hours after listening to the closing sentences, I can still feel the reverberations of Grace’s traumatic war-time experiences and the late-night stirrings in the rooms of Kilnsgate House. Peter Robinson has excelled himself with this one. Absolutely brilliant.
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- Annie

A major change in direction

This was an unexpected, gripping and at times heartbreaking listen. The recording was first rate, the readers presented the characters excellently.
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- H. Tollyfield "Tolly"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-08-2011
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited