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This is a very exciting and psychologically complex conclusion to Andrew Taylor's trilogy of loosely interconnecting stories. While it is true that each book stands alone your experience will be much enriched if you start with 'The Office of the Dead', followed by 'Judgement of Strangers' and finish with 'Four Last Things'. I felt that the pace and excitement of the narrative builds up across the three books as the threads of the lives of the different characters, who straddle the three books, intersect with extraordinary consequences.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I enjoy psychological thrillers, and I was looking forward to following this set of three in reverse chronological order, as intended by the author, but I won't be bothering with the other two. The characterisation was poor, especially the vicar,Sally Appleyard, who didn't lose her faith, in my opinion, because there was never any evidence that she had any to begin with. The others were stereotypes, - A Strange Young Man, a policeman who is the Strong, Silent Type, a Bitter Male Vicar who is against women priests, and a female villain who doesn't so much change her identity as lose it all together.
The whole book was slow and dreary, with no contrast between any of the characters or events.
I stuck with it, in the hope that it might get somewhere, but it didn't, and at the end I was left exclaiming "Is that it?"
Can I recommend instead "At the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness" which was moving, entertaining, and completely unselfconscious.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Creepy, true, but also a great story. Each character is so well developed. And the narrator is fantastic. I really liked it and can't wait to listen to the next book by Andrew Taylor.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
This is my first book review. My decision to finally get involved in passing on my opinion on this book is prompted by the other reviewer’s comments on the quality of the writing and more particularly the purported graphic content of this book and the ugliness of its portrayal.
I would suggest that there is no way that an author can portray the essential brutality of child abduction in an enjoyably way. Rather as this author conveys it is heart wrenching and we would hope that the cruelty of the act it’s self is beyond the pail of normal human behaviour.
There is in-fact very little gore. However the author does delve into the deviant mind of what we assume to be a paedophilic character. The author does not sanction his characters behaviour by indulging in the lurid sensationalism one would find in Pulp Fiction. Much in this book is left to the imagination.
I will purchase the other books in this series. As I’m interested in seeing how this series extends backwards in time casting light on the routs of child abuse.
For the reality of child abduction, I suggest that the reviewer, who rated this book so poorly, reads or listens to ‘The Jigsaw Man’ the autobiography of Paul Britton. Particularly focus on the Jamie Bulger abduction for a real portrayal of the ugly side of human nature.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful