The Judgement of Strangers (The Roth Trilogy)

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9780002325585: The Judgement of Strangers (The Roth Trilogy)

'Complex, with lots of sinister implications! moves the traditional crime novel on to some deeper level of exploration' Jane Jakeman, Independent It is 1970. David Byfield, a widowed parish priest with a dark past and a darker future, brings home a new wife to Roth. Throughout the summer, the consequences of the marriage reverberate through a village now submerged in a sprawling London suburb. Blinded by lust, Byfield is oblivious to the dangers that lie all about him: the menopausal churchwarden with a hopeless passion for her priest; his beautiful, neglected teenage daughter Rosemary; and the sinister presence of Frances Youlgreave -- poet, opium addict and suicide -- whose power stretches beyond the grave. Soon the murders and blasphemies begin. But does the responsibility lie in the present or the past And can Byfield, a prisoner of his own passion, break through to the truth before the final tragedy destroys what he most cherishes

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Review:

There's a wonderfully sly, almost mocking overtone to this middle part of a mystery trilogy by British master Andrew Taylor. As the narrator--a pompous, self-pitying clergyman named David Byfield--says about a dinner engagement: "As a consequence of my accepting their invitation, two people died, a third went to prison, and a fourth was admitted to a hospital for the insane." No beating about the bush there, or anywhere else in this story set in 1970 (25 years before the events of The Four Last Things, the first book in Taylor's trilogy about a fictional London suburb called Roth). The Judgement of Strangers helps explain what happens in the first book, but also stands on its own as a mordant mystery about sexual repression.

Byfield, a handsome widower with a psychologically fragile teenaged daughter, stirs up trouble with his attention to several women, all of whom pay a much higher price than he does. By making Byfield such a dolt, Taylor lets us sympathize with even the most odious of his conquests--Audrey, the obsessed local historian and operator of the world's nastiest teashop. "I watched the excitement draining from Audrey's face like water from a bath," Byfield tells us. "I felt ashamed of myself and also irritated with her. Why did she insist on calling Roth a village? It was a suburb of London, similar in all essentials to a dozen others. Most of its inhabitants had their real lives elsewhere. In Roth they merely serviced their bodily needs, watched television and on Sundays played golf or cleaned their Ford Cortinas." Book three promises to go back even further in time and tell us how Byfield's first wife died. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

Andrew Taylor is the award winning author of a number of novels. He and his family live in the Forest of Dean, England. He has been awarded the John Creasey Award from Crime Writers of America, the Scroll from Mystery Writers of America, the CWA Golden Dagger, and the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, as well.

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Book Description -. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. The Judgement of Strangers: Roth Trilogy Book 2 (The Roth Trilogy) This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780002325585

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