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A Plague of Heretics

Written by: Bernard Knight
Narrated by: Paul Matthews
Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Following a series of murders which appear to be linked to a revival of heresy, some of the cathedral canons begin a crusade against this danger to the Church. When Sir John is accused of being too sympathetic to the heretics, the coroner finds himself having to seek sanctuary in order to save his own life. Can he survive long enough to unmask the real killer?

©2010 Bernard Knight (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd

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  • Marie
  • 07-09-13

A Fond Farewell to Crowner John

A quick warning if you have never read a Crowner John novel, don't start with this one. From the ending of A Plague of Heretics, this is the last book in the series, although it turns out the author has recently published a prequel covering Crowner John's time with the crusades. At the end of A Plague of Heretics the main storylines that continued through the earlier volumes are nicely tied up. That is not to say the resolution is always happy but the endings seem fitting.

I think this may have been my favorite Crowner John story, even though the villain is easy to spot. Its main plot line is strong through the entire book. I found the story fast paced and tense. And the author corralled his tendency to repeat character backstory over and over throughout the novel(s). I think the move away from the civil court cases into the conflict between the secular and church courts introduced fresh and intriguing historical details.

As always, Paul Matthews was wonderful.

3 people found this helpful

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  • silversurfer
  • 30-07-14

A really good listen

Would you listen to A Plague of Heretics again? Why?

Yes, it is such a good story.

What did you like best about this story?

The way the author brings a little known (to me) era of history to life.

What about Paul Matthews’s performance did you like?

He made all the characters distinct

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent series I have found. I suspect this book is near the end of the series.

3 people found this helpful

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  • dee
  • 11-12-19

Interesting insight into 12th century England

I hadn't read/listened to any of the previous stories in the series, but that didn't affect my understanding of the characters and of the 'world of the novel'.

However, I thought the story lacked suspense and found John unsympathetic. My sympathies were pretty much with Matilda; I wasn't surprised she was angry with him, given his failures as a husband!

I don't know a huge amount about 12th century England, but Knight's portrayal of the period felt accurate. However, I was far more interested in what he said about the society of the time than in the plot and characters. John, in particular, really isn't very bright, being unable to see what was going on under his very nose. I don't know if this was deliberate on the part of the author, or another example of a writer trying, (and failing), to build up suspense by ignoring the obvious!

Having said that, the story is well-written, (except for a few misused adjectives).The narration is also reasonably good most of the time, (apart from some over-long pauses and the occasional mispronunciation - 'benign' proved to be particularly problematic!


I probably won't listen to the other books in the series, as I guessed all the major plot points very quickly and found that the novel really dragged as a result.

  • Overall
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-16

I have enjoyed listening to the story

The characters we're interesting and it's the first time I have understood we're huge and cry