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The King's Spy

Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Summary

Summer 1643: England is at war with itself. King Charles I has fled London, his negotiations with Parliament in tatters. The country is consumed by bloodshed. For Thomas Hill, a man of letters quietly running a bookshop in the rural town of Romsey, knowledge of the war is limited to the rumours that reach the local inn.

When a stranger knocks on his door one night and informs him that the king's cryptographer has died, everything changes. Aware of Thomas' background as a mathematician and his expertise in codes and ciphers, the king has summoned him to his court in Oxford.

On arrival Thomas soon discovers that nothing at court is straightforward. There is evidence of a traitor in their midst. Brutal murder follows brutal murder. And when a vital message encrypted with a notoriously unbreakable code is intercepted, he must decipher it to reveal the king's betrayer and prevent the violent death that failure will surely bring.

©2012 Andrew Swanston (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent spy story

Good story. The codes sounded complicated but you don't really need to know them but just accept the explanation. The narrator read clearly and well

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gently compelling

Reminds me somehow of Reade. A good storyline with a double bluff as to who the real villain will turn out to be

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Neither Brilliant Nor Brutal!

The biggest challenge one faces as to continue with this book, or not, is the narrator. Like the book itself, he is far from being woeful, however, the pauses and intake of breath is infuriating. Some pauses are so long one expects a new chapter to be announced. Again however, he's quite good if you can get passed these failings. The story is good enough to keep going to the end. I've downloaded the next two in the series but it is really up to yourself to take the chance and give it a go! Good luck.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Won’t be spying on the others in this series ...

I’m a huge fan of historical fiction but found this to be a very average listen. The characters are weak and the plot is predictable. I’m in awe of anyone who writes any sort of novel but I’m afraid this one left me cold. The Michael Arnold Stryker Chronicles are a much better civil war yarn if you want something from the same period.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An amazing insight into early period spying

a story of early civil war times were a small insignificant person could get swept up in high politics.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Slow moving

The story is very slow moving and the information about decoding the ciphers excessive. I would not recommend the book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jonsnana
  • 17-07-16

Good historical piece

I liked the authors use of accurate history setting to place the character Thomas. The use of codes was real, in fact, separating what was real from fiction from this book would be difficult. The reader/performer did a great job with all of the voices, especially the king. The pace of the book was good and the writing was well done.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Phyllis
  • 01-07-17

Simplistic and Contrived

Could not even finish it. Plot is silly and the author's conventions are contrived and distracting. To explain ciphers to the reader, he had one character explain it to another. Really? Could not generate any interest in the slow and plodding plot.

The narrator would have been fine without the theatrical attempt to create different voices for different characters.