Digital Download Macmillan Audio 2011
DD ISBN 978-1-4272-1207-8 $26.99
Library Ed. AudioGO 2011
CD ISBN 978-0-7927-7473-0 $79.95 Ten CDs
It’s sometimes the case that a narrator inadvertently calls attention to all of a book’s weaknesses. That’s certainly true with Robert Petkoff in this mystery. His reading emphasizes the artificiality of Bayard’s dialogue and poorly developed characters. The plot, diverting enough, concerns a long-lost letter written to Thomas Harriott, an Elizabethan-era inventor and friend of the doomed Sir Walter Raleigh. The novel’s hero, disgraced scholar Henry Cavendish, is convinced by his outsized collector friend, Alonzo Wax, that the letter is a map leading to gold. Bayard intersperses the present with interludes back in time to Harriot and his budding romance with a servant girl. Petkoff, following the author’s lead, portrays these and other characters as caricatures. It doesn’t help that he also employs an inconsistent English accent. M.O. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2011]
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