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  • The Bookseller of Inverness

  • By: S.G. MacLean
  • Narrated by: David Monteath
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Summary

A gripping historical thriller set in Inverness in the wake of the 1746 battle of Culloden from twice CWA award-winning author S. G. MacLean. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom and Andrew Taylor.

After Culloden, Iain MacGillivray was left for dead on Drumossie Moor. Wounded, his face brutally slashed, he survived only by pretending to be dead as the Redcoats patrolled the corpses of his Jacobite comrades.

Six years later, with the clan chiefs routed and the Highlands subsumed into the British state, Iain lives a quiet life, working as a bookseller in Inverness. One day, after helping several of his regular customers, he notices a stranger lurking in the upper gallery of his shop, poring over his collection. But the man refuses to say what he's searching for and only leaves when Iain closes for the night.

The next morning Iain opens up shop and finds the stranger dead, his throat cut, and the murder weapon laid out in front of him—a sword with a white cockade on its hilt, the emblem of the Jacobites. With no sign of the killer, Iain wonders whether the stranger discovered what he was looking for—and whether he paid for it with his life. He soon finds himself embroiled in a web of deceit and a series of old scores to be settled in the ashes of war.

©2022 Shona MacLean (P)2022 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about The Bookseller of Inverness

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  • Overall
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Fabulous book, edge of the seat suspense

This is a hugely enjoyable book, historical fiction without heaving bosoms and cod historical speech.
Fabulously researched and plotted I was reminded that although I know the broad brush elements of the time, I know so little of some of the minutiae.
It’s one of those books where I start to slow down nearing the end because I didn’t want it to finish.

3 people found this helpful

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Great research, not so sure about the story

I am a great admirer of Shona Maclean's novels, but this time felt that the story was not as convincing or enthralling plotwise as 'The Redemption of Alexander Seaton' and The Damian Seeker series. The research behind the novel is clearly detailed and amongst other insights includes the deportations to the Caribbean which were new to me. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of the titular character, the setting of the bookshop/early lending library and the people who worked there. However, I would have liked to have known more about Iain, Ishbel, Julia and life in Inverness at the time, and a little less about Hector who felt too much of the stock romantic hero. Unfortunately, I was never surprised by any twists in the plot, which also felt familiar. However, I do feel that this is a difficult era to write a truly original novel about as their have been so many romances and histories set in this period, and my criticisms are perhaps more down to my heightened expectations of Shona Maclean's writing and my familiarity with the historical setting. The narration is excellent. Recommended with reservations.

2 people found this helpful

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The most outstanding historical novel of 2022

You will not listen to a better historical novel this year. A brilliant story of a time unfamiliar to many, it combines excitement with erudition to an unusual degree. Highly recommended.

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Really good

I have a love/hate relationship with SG MacLean. I hated the Seaton books but loved Seeker so was unsure which way I’d fall this time. Thankfully I was sold pretty quickly. I really enjoyed the setting, characters and plot. The standout character is, of course, the psycho cat as is only right.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent storytelling

Loved this book- well paced, exciting and with a wealth of historical understanding of the period

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Good on history poor on story

It was very good in places for teaching you a bit about the history of Scotland post Jacobite rebellion but there was almost no story. Nothing seemed to happen

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Beautifully written and narrated

The tale of some of the lives devastated by Culloden and its aftermath is brilliantly portrayed. There's no humour in this story but it's not dark or depressing.

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  • 03-09-22

Highly entertaining historical novel

This novel evoked the dangerous/exciting times of the post-Culloden period with considerable historical research which was not laboured. Rather, the history of the period was worn lightly and did not detract from the story being told by the characters.

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Fantastic detail and story!

Rarely do I step into a book which is later than the tudors - however I am on a new pathway as I found this book very informative about a time that I know so little about - I will read the recommended texts- the irony here is that I was born in Thurso - so must make amends in learning more history of Scotland. Great book!

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The Aftermath of Culloden

Well written story of just one man's efforts to overcome the memories & consequences of Culloden