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A Cruel Necessity

A John Grey Historical Mystery
Written by: L. C. Tyler
Narrated by: Kris Dyer
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The theatres are padlocked. Christmas has been cancelled. It is 1657, and the unloved English Republic is eight years old. Though Cromwell's joyless grip on power appears immovable, many still look to Charles Stuart's dissolute and threadbare court-in-exile, and some are prepared to risk their lives plotting a restoration.

For the officers of the Republic, constant vigilance is needed. So, when the bloody corpse of a Royalist spy is discovered on the dung heap of a small Essex village, why is the local magistrate so reluctant to investigate? John Grey, a young lawyer with no clients, finds himself alone in believing that the murdered man deserves justice.

Grey is drawn into a vortex of plot and counterplot and into the all-encompassing web of intrigue spun by Cromwell's own spymaster, John Thurloe. So when nothing is what is seems, can Grey trust anyone?

L. C. Tyler is a crime writer and the current chair of the Crime Writers Association. He grew up in Essex and studied at Southend High School, Jesus College Oxford and City University. During a career with the Civil Service and the British Council, he lived in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sudan, Thailand and Denmark. More recently he has been based in Islington and West Sussex.

©2014 L.C. Tyler (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Tyler juggles his characters, story wit and clever one liners with perfect balance." ( The Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Julian Summer
  • 24-03-16


Very, very annoying and intensely stupid protagonist. Also a thin and obvious plot. I was cross with myself for wasting the time it took to finish this rubbish.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy Mcb
  • 12-05-18

Enjoyable but not engrossing

Kris Dyer was a capable, if slow, reader. I found myself speeding up the book to x1.25 or risk falling asleep. Very good accents for the characters though and I will listen to the next in the series read by him.

The story had some good moments but I felt it was predictable and lacked the description that other authors bring to the genre. John Grey appeared to be rather naive and certainly not a sleuth in the sense I am used to. Perhaps the hero changes and learns over time,

I was quite irritated by the continual use of ‘he said’, ‘she said’, ‘they said’ in the writing and that slowed the dialogue a lot when it was pretty obvious who said what in a two-person scene.

Overall thought it was a pleasant listen and I appreciate the effort the reader put into it.