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A Judgement in Stone

Narrated by: Carole Hayman
Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

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Summary

Four members of the Coverdale family - George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles - died in the space of fifteen minutes on the 14th February, St Valentine's Day. Eunice Parchman, the housekeeper, shot them down on a Sunday evening while they were watching opera on television. Two weeks later she was arrested for the crime. But the tragedy neither began nor ended there...

©2011 Ruth Rendell (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
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I wonder if there's anyone she likes

Revisiting this book after first reading it more than 30 years ago reminded me of what a misanthrope Rendell comes across as. My Lord, she has it in for everyone, making digs at the rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate with equal glee. You do just want to get a bucket of popcorn sometimes and sit back and watch whilst she helps you understand how vile or stupid just about everybody in the country is these days, what with murdering one another and eating baked goods of inferior quality in cafes. And I do mean these days, because you always get the feeling that Rendell believes things were better in the past. But this is all baffling, because we know what a kind, helpful, generous person she was IRL. This has to be one of her best books. The crime itself isn't really the point: it's more of an excuse for us to gawp at how ghastly some people are, whether they are reading the Guardian arts pages and discussing opera with their children or deploying soft furnishings to silence forever a troublesome invalid. But oh, the crime is horrible, too, and will stay with you.

3 people found this helpful

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superb story

Would you consider the audio edition of A Judgement in Stone to be better than the print version?

I prefer the audio version as with Carole Boyd giving such a wonderful voices reading it just brings the story alive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Judgement in Stone?

When Eunice lifted Norman against the wall for hitting his wife.

Have you listened to any of Carole Hayman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I think this one of the best readings by Carole Hayman I can listen to this again and again and again.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

LEARN TO READ AND WRITE

2 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyed it

I'm not a fan of thrillers and murder mysteries, but I friend recommended Ruth Rendell. I really enjoyed the story, the way the psychology of the characters and lives were presented and I felt like I really understood them. The narrator was excellent. I've read that some found the characters a bit shrill but I loved the way she played them, especially Joan, who was utterly nuts. I could totally imagine she spoke that way. I'll definitely listen to another. If they're all as good as this I'm looking forward to a good Ruth Rendell binge!

1 person found this helpful

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One of her best

I read this nearly 40 years ago and I have always considered it my favourite Ruth Rendell book. Listening to it again I haven’t changed my mind. Perfectly plotted, satisfying and great narration.

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Ending and beginnings and vice versa

A tale to prove a fine writer can up-end the usual conventions of a who dunnit, tell the story 'backwards', and create just as much suspense. Well worth a read for a new take on what can lead to murder, and protagonists you can believe in. Slightly grating mimickry of female voices but not enough to spoil it.

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A Judgement In Stone

I have read this in paperback years ago and enjoyed it. The story of the doomed Coverdale family and their strange housekeeper, Eunice Parchment.

Although the narrator, Carole Hayman made a good fist of the various characters, her portrayal of shrewish gossip Joan Smith was a high pitched aural assault. Also, the performance of some of the 'country/Suffolk folk' was bizarre.

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  • Adele
  • 16-05-19

I want more from this fantastic narrator!

Intriguing and fun typical British mystery story, but it is the narrator that made this story for me. She portrayed accents and intonations perfectly, her portrayal of the characters brought them to life, or as in the main protagonist’s case.... to stone!