BN.com Gift Guide

The Judgement of Strangers (Roth Trilogy #2)

Overview

The suburban town of Roth is haunted by its past, and struggling to break free. But by initiating a series of gruesome murders and mutilations, echoing crimes committed years before, someone in the village is trying to assure history's tight grip over the present. The community has no shortage of suspects, from the village vicar in the throes of a midlife crisis to the unusual brother and sister newly relocated to the town of Roth. Audrey Oliphant, churchwarden, spinster, and secret admirer of the vicar, fancies ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $2.03   
  • New (7) from $12.89   
  • Used (5) from $2.03   
Sending request ...

Overview

The suburban town of Roth is haunted by its past, and struggling to break free. But by initiating a series of gruesome murders and mutilations, echoing crimes committed years before, someone in the village is trying to assure history's tight grip over the present. The community has no shortage of suspects, from the village vicar in the throes of a midlife crisis to the unusual brother and sister newly relocated to the town of Roth. Audrey Oliphant, churchwarden, spinster, and secret admirer of the vicar, fancies herself as Miss Marple, and when the corpse of her cat, Lord Peter, is found nailed to the church door, she decides to investigate. By the end of her investigation, two people are dead, one is in jail, and a fourth is insane.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Andrew Taylor:

“A sophisticated writer…with a high degree of literary expertise.” ---The New York Times Book Review

“Powerful stuff…. An especially fine portrait of a flawed man…. Much recommended.” ---Booknews on The Four Last Things

“Taylor subtly weaves the threads of this thoughtful, melancholy tale until they become an interlaced whole before the reader’s eyes.” ---Publishers Weekly on An Air That Kills

“Solidly paced and smoothly polished capering.” ---Kirkus Reviews on Caroline Miniscule

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This second book in the planned Roth Trilogy looks back a generation at some of the origins of characters and action in the first book, The Four Last Things (1997). Taylor builds a powerful narrative as his struggling characters face an array of temptations that the reader knows early on will overwhelm them. Set in 1970 in the village of Roth, near London, the tale is narrated by David Byfield, a Church of England minister. The near bucolic setting hides a raft of jealousies and passions that quietly build and seethe until the inevitable crest. As David, his new wife, Vanessa, his daughter Rosemary, home for school holiday, and his godson Michael try to adapt to living with one another, other forces obtrude. But David's concern with the church fete stirs up trouble, as does Vanessa's research into the life of the mad poet-priest, Francis Youlgreave, buried in the parish church, and Rosemary's infatuation with the handsome young man who has just moved into Roth Park, the village's big manor house. The clincher is David's growing attraction to the young man's ethereal older sister. Although Taylor has willingly sacrificed some suspense by adopting this reverse chronology, he is sufficiently skillful to keep the reader on edge all the way to the stunning climax. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This second volume of Taylor's planned Roth trilogy takes place in 1970, 20 years prior to the events of the first novel, The Four Last Things (St. Martin's, 1997). Vicar David Byfield of Roth, an English village turned London suburb, finds himself caught in a sticky web of deceit. His sexless second marriage, to a woman interested in writing the biography of a vaguely disreputable local Victorian poet, alienates his only daughter. Then David falls in lust/love with a possibly mentally ill young woman haunted at times by the ghost of said poet. Throw in a dying old woman who owns the poet's papers, a murdered cat, and a village crusader, and the "cosy" atmosphere is complete.
Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-five years before Michael Appleyard's daughter was kidnapped in The Four Last Things (1997), the pre-teen Michael spent the summer of 1970 visiting his godfather David Byfield, the vicar of Roth. Michael wasn't to know that the events of the summer, David's first with his second wife, publisher Vanessa Forde, would run the gamut from adultery to drug dealing to madness to murder, all evidently presided over by the ghost of the Rev. Francis Youlgreave, the mad poet-priest who communed with dark powers and mutilated animals before he was carried to his grave beneath the vicarage chancel. Writing from the lusty, repressed vicar's point of view, Taylor cloaks all the horrid doings in prose as stately and deliberate as Dorothy Sayers's in The Nine Tailors: "The first time I kissed Joanna was late in the afternoon of Monday, 24th August." Yet despite portentous foreshadowing out of the Had-I-But-Known school and endless episodes of kissus interruptus, the sense of foul menace mounts to a fine frenzy as David dallies with bored newcomer Joanna Clifford, outraged tearoom historian Audrey Oliphant mourns her beheaded cat, and the villagers punctuate their preparations for the climactic village fete by speculating about what might have happened to village doyenne Lady Youlgreave, mad Francis's horribly dead niece.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312287306
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Roth Trilogy Series , #2
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,422,314
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)