In Sir William’s remote part of Scotland it seems almost possible that a young boy could have been stolen away by the fairies and returned forty years later, no older – and if he isn’t Davie Drummond, who is he? And then he suffers a succession of near-fatal ‘accidents’. Could there be a connection with four other local singers who have vanished, one of them with political information of value to Scotland’s enemies?
Gil and his wife Alys have been sent into Perthshire to investigate. Gil’s pursuit of the missing singers leads him to a vision of the Devil and the reappearance of an old adversary, while Alys finds herself drawn deeply into the affairs of the Drummond family, particularly the mysterious Davie.
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By Paul Sullivan on 02-07-17
Disregard those treacly, earnest covers.
Sweet St. Giles! Don't let them turn you away from this wonderful series!
Lively, engrossing, beautifully constructed plots that are actually tied to the historical times. 15th Century Scottish ways, mores and prejudices are characters. Great to read and better to listen to. Andrew Watson is a marvel at voices and narration. (He even looks like my idea of Gil based on his uTube TV clips.)
Aye, the language is another character. I used to get a bit lost, so I'd simply start a book or a chapter over again. It just made a great book last longer.
In The Stolen Voice, McIntosh makes it perfectly plausible that in a particular time and place even the most rational, cautious people might allow themselves to believe that fairies exist and are not above a bit of kidnapping.
13 year old, sweet voiced Davy Drummond made his way on foot back to school after the holidays and disappeared. Was he kidnapped for his voice by some ambitious choir master or by the folk under the hill? 30 years later, he returns only a few years older. Gil Cunningham, lawyer and "Archbishop's man," is bemused at the unbothered acceptance of the laddie by his family and neighbors.
As usual, there's a couple of narrative threads running side by side that may or may not be connected. McIntosh paints in a large, varied cast of characters and the rhythms of their daily lives. As usual, she somehow makes it easy to keep them all straight. A few favorites: long armed, short legged Doig, the lowly dog breeder and small time shady runner for hire, is always sly, gruff and grumbling, but especially so when forced to speak to Gil. Bishop Brown is an urbane and befuddled cleric who veers between serious and simpering depending on whether his wee lapdog has his attention or not.
Gil and his wife, Alyce, the French stone mason's daughter, divvy up the investigating tasks. They come together to compare notes and puzzle out next moves before parting again until they have it figured out.
The first nine in this series bear re-reading and re-hearing.