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Gallows Thief: A Novel  By  cover art

Gallows Thief: A Novel

By: Bernard Cornwell
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1820 and England has fought its last victorious battle against the French. Rider Sandman, a hero of Waterloo, has finally returned to London to wed his young bride. But instead of being able to settle down to his fame and glory, he finds himself penniless in a country where unemployment and social unrest are raging high, and where men - innocent or guilty - are hung for the merest of crimes. Thus, when the Home Secretary offers him a job as private investigator - to re-open the case of a death-row candidate accused of murder - Sandman readily accepts, as much for the money as for a chance to see justice being done in a country gone to ruins. Soon, however, he is up to his elbows in grisly a murder plot that keeps thickening as Sandman makes his way through gentleman’s clubs and shady taverns, aristocratic mansions and fashionable painters studios, unerringly determined to rescue the innocent young man from the rope. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed...

©2002 Bernard Cornwell (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Gallows Thief: A Novel

Average Customer Ratings
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Lord Keeble

There's no one that can surpass Lord Jonathan Keeble. He is without a doubt the best narrator my old ears have ever heard.

31 people found this helpful

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Another excellent Cornwell & Keeble collaboration

As I've come to expect from Cornwell novels this is a fun historical adventure, with an exceptional reading / performance from Keeble who enhances a great story with superb narration.

16 people found this helpful

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More Rider!!

I realize B Cornwell has other series, but I want more Rider, Berrigan, Sally, and Lord Alexander!!

Jonathan Keeble does it again!!!

9 people found this helpful

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Sterling.

Would you consider the audio edition of Gallows Thief: A Novel to be better than the print version?

Yes but I've only listened to the unabridged version narrated by Jonathan Kebble. I can't imagine this book would be improved by reading the print version when Kebble brings the voices of the characters to life with such aplomb.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rider Sandman himself would be my favorite however each character brings the story forward in a "can't wait to to turn the page" manner.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Keeble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first but I'll be looking for more in the future.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Marketing is not my thing but it would mention the gritty life of early 19th century London.

Any additional comments?

I'm not usually drawn to write a review of books but this on is so fantastic, such a fabulous combination of author and narrator, that I want to shout from the roof tops to everyone...This is a winner.

9 people found this helpful

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Reminded me of a Follett Novel

A good period novel that reminded me of a good Ken Follett novel. Good character development a a real taste and flavor of the times. Cornwell offers a bit more of a hard and graphic look. He describes the foul living conditions of the times as well as he does in battles scenes in his other books.

The narrator does a great job as well. Recommended!

6 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

I have listened to the entire Saxon series, Sharpe's series twice, the King Arthur series and this was even better!

5 people found this helpful

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Liked the history & story, not the main character

This was a difficult review to consider, because I really liked the historical setting, the story, and characterizations of the minor characters, I really didn't like the major characters very much. They were either cliched (hooker with a heart of gold) or not very likeable (war veteran resting on his laurels with anger problems). But the ancillary characters are good, the writing of the environment and life circumstances are good, and so is the story. Enjoyable while it was there, but not something I want more of.

4 people found this helpful

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An unique story of investigation post war 1820

If you could sum up Gallows Thief: A Novel in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, storyline, wellwritten

What did you like best about this story?

Ryder the main character and his collected associates all were deep enough to give the story added character.

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Keeble is a reader who can bring the characters to life and adds to the story in a way that you want to keep listening. A class A reader and look forward to more of his works

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt sad for the innocent girl they hanged I knew she didn't do anything and justice seems to be for the rich only

Any additional comments?

Of course there won't be any follow stories wish he had written more with these characters in them

3 people found this helpful

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Pretty okay

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favorite?

Sam Berrigan

Any additional comments?

I've enjoyed the Bernard Cornwell books I've read, but this one, my first audio version, didn't sit right with me.1) I really didn't care for the protagonist, Capt Sandman, or his love interest. At all. Boring, stilted & no depth. There were also huge inconsistencies in behavior & motivation.2) The bad guys were far more interesting than Capt Sandman... which didn't take much.3) The reading of it started to grate on me: the narrator attempted to speak in falsetto for the women's lines & it was almost painful to hear after a while. 4) The book seems to have been written to make some political point about the use of the gallows &, thus, no effort was made to develop the characters.5) I really didn't care for anybody in the story - not even the poor young man falsely accused of murder.Cornwell has written much better books than this & while not everyone can hit a home run each time, this one didn't even cross the pitching mound.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing for Cornwell

I have enjoyed many of Cornwell's books, but not this one. The plot takes forever to develop and keeps getting stalled by irrelevant, redundant, and sometimes excruciatingly irritating dialogue and monologues.

1 person found this helpful