Before the Poison
An atmospheric and compelling mystery. The story is effectively told from three different perspectives: that of the protagonist, from excerpts taken from a book titled "Famous Trials", and from Grace's own WWII diary. The slow pace allows for the suspense to build and for the reader to really get to know the characters. A great read!
Robinson creates hypnotic atmosphere in this book.
I put this book down for a bit because I originally found it slow and difficult to get into in. I'm very glad that I picked it up again. The story unfolds gradually on several different levels and pulls you deeper and deeper into the psychological mystery and the motives of the main character. In the end, I enjoyed it as much, if not more, than the wonderful Inspector Banks mysteries.
Fans of Peter Robinson will savor this riveting psychological murder mystery set in the fifties in Yorkshire, England. Chris Lowndes, a Hollywood musical composer has purchased a large mansion in the village of Kilnsgate. Sixty years ago there was a horrific murder in that mansion. The doctor’s wife, Grace Fox poisoned her husband and was hung for the deed. Once Chris finds out about the murder in this house he wants to find out more details about Fox. He speaks with the local folk and also sets out to France and Cape Town where he finally is able to piece together the mystery of this case. Strong character development and lots of suspense make this a riveting read.
Good story made me want to finish the book. Uneven writing was a problem. Some passages are beautifully written, others read like cliched romance fiction writing.
Enjoyed this. Interesting characters and an interesting mystery. Won't be counted among my faves, but still a book worth reading.
In my judgment Robinson's finest novel that I have read. It is riveting story. A man who tries to solve a 60 year old murder. A woman was hanged for her husband's murder and the book's main character tries to solve whether she is guily or innocent. Excellent read!
I was expecting a Banks mystery but a historical instead. Still nice descriptions of the same area.
I loved this book. It stirred up emotions close to the surface right now. For a mystery the writing was superb and I want more Robinson.
Very slow moving - I am struggling to care about what happens next. I will likely finish this novel but it has become a bit of an effort. I am puzzled by the people who 'couldn't put it down'.
Not his usual gripping novel. , rather slow and dull
I fully expected not to like this book as I was looking forward to a new Alan Banks novel. Boy, was I wrong. Don't make the mistake I almost did. Pick this book up and read it. It will not disappoint.
This novel started well but I found I lost interest about half way through. I'm afraid I did not find the narrator a very compelling character and I found the ending a bit far-fetched. I love the Banks novels and I hope Robinson writes another of that series soon.
Did not disappoint - Peter Robinson's writing is fluid and the plot keeps the reader engaged.
Chris Lowndes comes to Kilnsgate to grieve and to write, but instead is drawn into a long ago murder for which Grace Fox was hung. His success scoring films in Hollywood provides Chris the time and the means to investigate, and we become his willing companions. Robinson successfully portrays contemporary life in the Yorkshire dales with England’s wartime past including Grace’s nursing service on the Eastern front.
After the death of his wife, a man buys a mysterious house in England & begins to unravel the story of it's previous owners, a woman hanged for poisoning her husband some 60 years before, during the second world war.
Current story boring but world war story compelling. Still prefer In a Dry Season for WWII.
A wonderful complex book.A stand alone,no Banks this time.You hate it to end.READ IT
This is a wonderful novel with a very interesting mystery. Chris Lowndes left England decades ago and has a successful American career writing music for films. Following his wife's recent death, he has decided to return to his home country and has bought a large house in rural Yorkshire. As he settles in, he learns that a previous owner of the house, Grace Fox, was tried and hanged for murdering her husband. The story intrigues him and he wants to know more. As he locates and reads a write-up of the trial, and follows leads to local people and those who have moved elsewhere, he is drawn to Grace as a person and believes she could not have committed such a crime. Along the way he is also making himself a new home in Yorkshire, finding new friends, meeting his neighbours and coming to terms with moving on in his own life. The story will take him back to his own childhood and beyond to World War II. It will take him beyond his new home in Yorkshire to France and South Africa. It will take him beyond his grief to a new way of living. The references to music, movies, and books are classic Peter Robinson and fit neatly into the story here. The emotional and nostalgic feelings of his characters are well drawn and make sense both in the story and with the characters. This is a story of past and present, motives and morals, that gripped me strongly.
A little slow-moving but overall a good read
I'm a big Inspector Banks fan so I started this book with a bit of trepidation. After the first chapter I was hooked. A great read, interesting plot and characters. Highly recommended even without Banks!
I've always enjoyed Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks mysteries. "Before the poison" shows that he is a truly gifted story teller - an excellent book!
An enjoyable Peter Robinson novel but not a Insp. Banks story. A man moves back to Yorkshire after decades in the States( doing movie scores) and moves into a house where the previous husband was murdered and his wife was hanged for the murder. He becomes curious and starts to find out the whole story. An enjoyable British mystery. Robinson is a good writer and the plot has many twists and turns. Well balanced between plot and character.
Strong review attention for Robinson's latest. From the Globe & Mail: "For a reminder of why Peter Robinson is one of Canada's best storytellers, look no further than the opening of this brilliant stand-alone novel." Margaret Cannon
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