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Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
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Angels in the Gloom

by Anne Perry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Joseph, Matthew and Judith Reavley (3)

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Showing 5 of 5
WWI who-done-it.
Read as an abridged audiobook.

This was a nice surprise. I had previously read A Christmas Guest and found it to be an unexciting who-done-it. I had expected something similar with Angels in the Gloom but was happy to find that the WWI aspect of the book lifted it considerably from the mundane.

The story begins with Joseph Reavley, a chaplain in the army, rescuing injured men from no-man's-land. When he is injured bringing back a man from his own village, he wakes in an army hospital with an injured arm and damaged leg. He is sent home to receuperate with his sister Hannah and her boys. Hannah's husband is at sea with the navy and Joseph's brother, Matthew is working in intelligence.
Then a man from the village is murdered and Joseph, in his position as chaplain, becomes drawn into events as he comforts the grieving wife and interacts with his father's old friend Corcoran, who had been the dead man's boss.
I enjoyed the picture of life at home while the men were at war and the struggling pastor of the village who had no idea how to be there for his parisioners as word came back from the front of their losses.
The who-done-it part had a few unexpected twists and turns and this was altogether a joy to listen to.
I did think the court case was lacking in authenticity but otherwise four stars.

I hadn't realised that this was the middle book of a five part series but although I would have preferred to have read them in order it did not detract in any way. I will look out for the others and try to read the whole set.
My abridged version was well read by Michael Page.

Also read:
A Christmas Guest by Anne Perry (3 stars) ( )
  DubaiReader | Aug 15, 2012 |
This was a powerful novel in some ways and a disappointment in others. If the reader wants a mystery they should look for another book, as the mystery element here is rather unengaging. If the reader wants a war novel that deals with the trauma found in life on the home front this is a very powerful novel. The center of it is the Rev. Joseph Reavley and he must wrestle with questions of faith to which there are no clear answers only personnel decisions that rest on faith. That does not mean that this is a "why bad things happen to good people" book, but rather that even in war there are few clear cut answers to that question. It is also about how to deal with death in mass numbers. The trauma undergone by a small village during WWI, when the numbers of causalities are so large is a theme that is rarely explored in literature, and this book does what it can to deal with that overlooked and unglamorous part of war.

I listened to this book in an audio format and found that I did not mind the readers dramatization of the text as much as I did in some of the other books in this series. Because of the subject matter and the way the author handled it I decided to rate this book rather high for me. It takes on some subjects that most war novels ignore but that need to be written about and she does a fine job. Not that I think it is the best book ever on that subject but it is a good effort. ( )
1 vote benitastrnad | Mar 21, 2011 |
This series is proving a partial disappointment to this devoted Anne Perry reader. The mystery part of the plot has been rather slight, and its development dependent on hearsay and gossip. I must confess I found protagonist Joseph Reavley's inexorable logical unraveling less inexorable and logical than he did.

I was also troubled by the subplots or vignettes -- for example, that of Joseph's sister Judith, still driving ambulances in Flanders -- that didn't seem to resolve or even recur in the latter part of the book. There were also some minor characters whose moral positions seem underexamined and untenable despite our being asked to relate to them at least partially. In a series as dependent as this one has been on niceties of ethics, that can be troubling.

Perry is a good author, and I will give the next book in the series a try. I still care about these characters and the village they hail from. However, had I borrowed this book in paper form, forcing it to compete with my other reading material, rather than in audiobook so I could listen to it as I bake and clean, I might not have completed it.

Audiobook: Either the narrator has toned down his emoting, I have gotten used to it, or there simply weren't as many hysterical women or browbeating men for him to chew on, this time. The narration was fine. ( )
1 vote eilonwy_anne | Jun 23, 2009 |
3rd of 5 in series. Perry works well dealing with Joseph and the demons he must wrestle with in finding God's voice in the turmoil and destruction of the fabric of society. Although I did not find her portrayal of the sea battle effective, I think this is the volume (not having read the final one yet) I enjoyed the most. Or, perhaps that would be better said, of the three dealing (so far) with actual war, this is the one I have enjoyed the most....hmmm which is interesting in that it dealt with civilian coping more than trench warfare.

Interestingly, at least from my perspective, Joseph was no better, yet no worse, at dealing with espionage as his supposedly brilliant younger brother Matthew.
1 vote kaulsu | Sep 23, 2008 |
I really enjoyed. ( )
1 vote Mom25dogs | Nov 29, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Perryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...beyond that whisper
Going to look for angels in the gloom.

--Siegfried Sassoon
Dedication
To my father,
Henry Hulme
scientific advisor to the admiralty,
World War II
First words
Joseph lay on his face in the ice-filmed mud.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345456572, Paperback)

With this latest entry in a bestselling series that evokes all the passion and heroism of history’s most heartbreaking conflict–the war that was meant to end all wars–Anne Perry adds new luster to her worldwide reputation.

Angels in the Gloom is an intense saga of love, hate, obsession, and murder that features an honorable English family–brothers Joseph and Matthew Reavley and their sisters, Judith and Hannah.

In March 1916, Joseph, a chaplain at the front, and Judith, an ambulance driver, are fighting not only the Germans but the bitter cold and the appalling casualties at Ypres. Scarcely less at risk, Matthew, an officer in England’s Secret Intelligence Service, fights the war covertly from London. Only Hannah, living with her children in the family home in tranquil Cambridgeshire, seems safe.

Appearances, however, are deceiving. By the time Joseph returns home to Cambridgeshire, rumors of spies and traitors are rampant. And when the savagely brutalized body of a weapons scientist is discovered in a village byway, the fear that haunts the battlefields settles over the town–along with the shadow of the obsessed ideologue who murdered the Reavleys’ parents on the eve of the war. Once again, this icy, anonymous powerbroker, the Peacemaker, is plotting to kill.

Perry’s kaleidoscopic new novel illuminates an entire world, from the hell of the trenches to the London nightclub where a beautiful Irish spy plies her trade; from the sequestered laboratory where a weapon that can end the war is being perfected to the matchless glory of the English countryside in spring. Steeped in history and radiant with truth, Angels in the Gloom is a masterpiece that warms the heart even as it chills the blood.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:56 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Presents a thriller set against the helligh backdrop of World War I Britain, as a beautiful Irish spy plies her trade in a London nightclub and, in a secret remote laboratory, scientists work to develop a weapon that could end the war.

» see all 6 descriptions

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