Office of the Dead : Roth

  • by Andrew Taylor
  • Narrated by June Barrie
  • Series: Roth
  • 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Living in the British city of Rosington of the 1950s, Wendy finds herself penniless, jobless, and on the verge of divorce. She goes to stay with her friend, who seems to have everything Wendy lacks. But a decades-old mystery lingers, and the shadow of death seeps through from turn-of-the-century Rosington, portending tragedy.

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What the Critics Say

"Maiden ladies who would make Miss Marple smile and villains as vile as Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter populate this witty, urbane but dark third volume in Taylor's Roth Trilogy." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slowly a mystery emerges

This is the first part of a trilogy of books that starts in the 1950s. The early part of the book moves slowly as the characters are introduced and fleshed out and one might think it was going to be a simple family saga. However, after a while a mystery, with its origins in the pre-War period, emerges and one realizes that the story is much more complex and gripping. The structure of the book suits being an audio version as the story is largely told chronologically by a first person narrator remembering the past. It is excellently read by June Barry. I shall certainly listen to the next two parts.
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- Kirstine

A story devoid of tension, pace or narrative drive

Confusingly, this is either the first book in a trilogy or the last, depending on whose comments you read.

If it were the last then perhaps the purpose of this book is for answers to the mysteries in the previous books to drop into place. Perhaps those reading it as the third book in the trilogy are constantly emitting sighs of satisfaction as they say to themselves "Ah, that's the reason why that other thing happened in book 1 or 2".

I read it first and found it extremely slow and lacking any tension or narrative drive. For the first 80% of the book, nothing really happens. The narrator stumbles across a couple of unexplained facts, but so what? The narrator is a dispassionate observer with no skin in the game and the author gives us no real mystery to drive the story forward.

As a standalone book, this doesn't work. Perhaps it does in the context of the trilogy.

The narration is excellently and convincingly done.
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- richiesan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 20-04-2007
  • Publisher: Audible Studios