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The Darker Arts

Narrated by: Andy Secombe
Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Summary

Madame Katerina, Detective 'Nine Nails' McGray's most trusted clairvoyant, hosts a séance for three of Edinburgh's wealthiest families.  

The following morning everyone is found dead, with Madame Katerina being the only survivor. When questioned she alleges a tormented spirit killed the families for revenge.  

McGray, even though he believes her, must find a rational explanation that holds up in court, else Katerina will be sentenced to death.  

Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help, which turns out to be difficult as he is still dealing with the loss of his uncle and has developed a form of post-traumatic stress (not yet identified in the 19th century).  

This seems an impossible puzzle. Either something truly supernatural has occurred - or a fiendishly clever plot is covering a killer's tracks....

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2019 Oscar de Muriel (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exiting, fun and very entertaining

Very entertaining , hard to stop listening.
Looking forward to the next book in the series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful series

I really enjoy this series. The newest instalment does not disappoint. The narrator is superb.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The best of the series so far

A ripping yarn. A locked room mystery. Humourous characters. Constantly dashing from moment to moment. I loved the narration of Mr Secomb, as usual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Victorian Scots Paranormal-adjacent Crime Drama

The title says it all. Everything I need to listen through a whole book in a single day.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible Scottish accents

I'm Scottish and I love gothic / Victorian fiction so I was really excited to try this book, but the narrator's Scottish accents are so terrible I can't pay attention to the actual story. 20 minutes was torture. Andy Secombe has the perfect voice for gothic fiction starring English characters, but I really wish a Scottish narrator had been hired for this.

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Excellent!

This latest story in a very excellent series is excellent. It is well written and the narration is superb! I can’t wait for the next book!

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  • K
  • 04-10-19

Exponentially drawn-out.

I am totally a fan of de Muriel and of the refreshingly irreverent McGrey and Frey partnership. In fact, I have given the previous novels rave reviews. I wanted so much to do the same here and I am glad to see that other readers have loved this instalment in the series; I'm sorry that I did not, this time.

The story starts intriguingly enough but more and more the reader is bogged down in legalities, inheritance, deeds and so many false leads that far from an interesting conundrum we are faced with a tedious bird's nest of bureaucracy. Previously, the plots have belted along at a cracking pace; this time, I often felt the itch of my trigger finger on the fast-forward button - my loyalty to the series was the only thing that stopped me.

I have noted the many readers preferred the greater 'reality' of this novel. I felt the dearth of the supernatural elements meant a considerable dimming in the excitement. Of course, the previous instalments weren't believable, who said they needed to be? The supernatural is a grey area but Oscar de Muriel's great art was throwing the reader headlong into a willing suspension of disbelief.
I will read future instalments in this series but I hope the next one is more boo than bore.

Secombe is a master of his craft and very definitely one of the best and most lively readers in the business.

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Best since the first book

Really enjoyed this book, more believable than the last book and the interaction and bond between the characters is growing

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Fabulous as ever

Just gets better and better - can’t wait for my next fix of Frey and McGrey, brought to life by the amazing Andy Secombe.

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Another good tale

Brilliantly performed by Andy Secombe, this is a worthy follow up of this series. Still a little whacky and with a touch of humour and banter between the two detectives.

I actually re read the first book in the series to remind myself of the characters and background before starting this book, I found that I enjoyed it even more the second time around!

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  • Ms Peach
  • 14-08-19

Great dialogue

The dialogue is brilliantly written. It is humorous and believable. The characters are engaging. The narrator is marvelous. The story is very very slow to develop. After 12 chapters I skipped to the end. I liked the end. Very inventive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marina de Souza Vidal
  • 12-08-19

Even more gripping than the previous

Another great chapter in the Frey-McGray story, this one even more gripping than the previous. It is interesting to see how trauma has affected Frey and the dynamic of his relationships. It was also nice to have a new glimpse into McGray's personal historal. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful