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Summary

At the Central Criminal Court, an eager crowd awaits the trial of Victoria Lamartine, an active participant in the Resistance during the war. She is now employed at the Family Hotel in Soho, where Major Eric Thoseby has been found murdered. The cause of death? A stabbing reminiscent of techniques developed by the Maquisards.

While the crime is committed in England, its roots are buried in a vividly depicted wartime France. Thoseby is believed to have fathered Lamartine's child, and the prosecution insist that his death is revenge for his abandonment of Lamartine and her arrest by the Gestapo. A last-minute change in Lamartine's defence counsel grants solicitor Nap Rumbold just eight days to prove her innocence.

©1951 Michael Gilbert (P)2020 Soundings

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Slow

Could not listen any longer. One of the few books I gave up on. Great cure for insomnia

2 people found this helpful

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  • R&K
  • 16-03-20

Absorbing period drama

It unfolded more like a drama with interesting courtroom elements and off stage adventures. It is very well written so much so that I didn’t care for the mystery or denouement as I normally do in books of the crime classic sort. I would definitely want to read/listen to more by this author after this first introduction to his works. Gordon Griffin is stellar. His narration to my ears is perfection for period mysteries. In fact, I become quite partial to trying out a listen if I see that he is the narrator.

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  • schiff
  • 25-03-20

A Delightful Suspense Story

For me, this story puts Michael Gilbert standing as a second choice only to my favorite murder mystery author - Ngaio Marsh

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gail N.
  • 21-01-21

Started well then went off the rails

This story is rather dated but that is not my main complaint. The characters are all very stereotypical British crime fiction types. The blend of courtroom drama and private investigator action in the UK and France does add a great deal of interest and is the main feature to be praised. However, the ending is less than satisfying since justice is not well served. The plot is rather flimsy with glaring holes in the deductive reasoning of both the police and prosecuting attorney. My favorite character was the kindly and unbiased judge. American judges are never portrayed this favorably! The performance is excellent and easy to follow. Up to about the middle, it really held my interest. But as it became more bizarre and cloak-and-dagger, my interest waned. I simply wanted to know the final outcome and finished listening a 2x speed.

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  • Ms Lixie
  • 18-01-21

Incredibly dry and misogynistic even for the time

Woman has a child. Years later she’s accused of killing the father. She says he’s not the father. Zero evidence he is the father. The entire first half (which is all I listened to) is about how all the men say he must be the father. This one is just too misogynistic for me. Maybe it turns out he was the father. I don’t know. I just couldn’t listen to anymore dry court questioning dialogue about whether witnesses thought he was the type of man to father a child. Ended up returning it.

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  • p burger
  • 10-10-20

Interesting twists

Reader is great, I listened to it while in bed and missed parts but could follow well enough.