Looking for a a gritty, historical police procedural full of highwaymen and hangings? Then check out "The Gallows Thief." The author, Bernard Cornwell, provides a full complement of eccentric characters while the CDbook's narrator, Sean Barrett, brings them to life.
Rider Sandman is a former soldier and a hero of Waterloo. Due to a family scandal, he scrounges for employment. Given the opportunity to investigate a case for the Home Secretary, Sandman has too much integrity to confirm a corrupt conviction. Intending to find the real culprit, he questions both lowly servants and distinguished gentlemen. Sandman takes some wrong turns, proving he's human while still being a champion of truth and justice. He's assisted by an 'actress' named Sally and a veteran, Sgt. Berrigan, who are both cagey and well-versed in the seedy side of England.
Barrett's performance distinguishes the players through accent and inflection. With characters ranging from caustic lowlifes to pompous nobles, listeners feel like they're eavesdropping in a pub throughout the story. "Gallows Thief" is a riveting drama, but be warned the details of the hangings and Newgate Prison might make you squirm.
--Cindy F., Headquarters