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The Stranger House cover art

The Stranger House

By: Reginald Hill
Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
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Summary

For years, the Stranger House has stood in the village of Illthwaite, offering refuge to travellers. People like Sam, a brilliant young mathematician, who believes that anything that can't be explained by maths isn't worth explaining. And Miguel, a historian running from a priests' seminary, who sees ghosts. Sam is an experienced young woman, Miguel a 26-year-old virgin. But both want to dig up bits of the past that some people would rather keep buried. As they uncover intertwining tales of murder, betrayal, and love, they must put aside their differences to find the dark mysteries at the heart of this ancient place.
©2006 Reginald Hill (P)2006 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"A mystery novel, but far more than that. It's gripping...Hill is wonderful." ( The Times)

What listeners say about The Stranger House

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointing

After the woodcutter I was eagerly awaiting this story even though it did have mixed reviews. unfortunately I found this to be quite tedious, whilst the ending was good I think this book could have been 6 hours shorter. I won't lie, it's put me off reading anything else from the author.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not for me.

I try to listen to books every so often that I would not normally choose or new authors for me . I am happy to do this with the buy one get one free offers that audible has.

Unfortunately this book was not for me. I am not sure if it was the narration or the writing style but I just could not get into the story or develop anything more than a severe dislike for any of the characters. I use audio books to help me sleep and this book just enabled my insomnia.............but I was committed to listening to it and always feel like I would be doing the author an injustice by giving up............and you never know if a book that starts of badly will pick up to have an amazing middle and end. Not the case here. Not a mystery, thriller or suspenseful book. The only thing that could have saved it was a nuclear explosion occurring at the start and then 16 hours of white noise.

However I refuse to give 1 star as even though I hated the story and narration, the book was well written with decent character development, it may just be that this was too gentle of a story for me.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but overlong

An interesting if somewhat convoluted tale. The characters are well formed. The narrator is very good BUT his attempts at the various accents and dialects are lamentably poor; to the extent that it is distracting. That said, if you are not from the North of England, you probably won’t even notice.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting characters and story

Good story with great characters.Took a few chapters to get into it but once I did it was very worthwhile.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Average offering that promised much more

Like many, I came to this from The Woodcutter, so had high expectations. The Stranger House is not in the same league.

I agree with many that the narration leaves something to be desired, especially in the attempt at an Australian accent, but there was a half-decent stab to add some variety to the Cumbrian characters.

The plot was just a little bit all over the place, and felt loose. Bits and pieces seemed forced together in a way that didn't fit. Neither did the attempted foray into mysticism really work. In all, this felt like a book that could have been excellent if only a bit more work had been put in.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

sad I didn't like this

I listen to Reginald Hill often. However I really struggled with this one, but not sure why. it is a good plot but written in a convoluted way. I consider Mr Hill a brilliant author and this will not put me off, just not for me

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mystery with history thrown in, set in the Lake District

I enjoyed the story, perhaps even better on the second listen, when I could take in the details. Reginald Hill builds up a rich back story for his murder mystery, incorporating English class culture and complex characters much like in the Woodcutter. I agree with other reviewers that Gordon Griffin's version of an Australian accent (among other things) is absolutely terrible and a different narrator would have been preferable.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

draws you in

the book starts slowly as you gradually get to know, then like, the characters and their stories unfold
Hill effortlessly interweaves storylines and timelines with a most atmospheric depiction of a Lake District Village

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Keep Going!

I wasn't sure if this would be my cup of tea, but had really enjoyed The Woodcutter by the same author. In the end I am glad I stayed with it as the second half was quite enthralling and I felt overall the story warranted 4 stars. My reticence is due to two factors. First, the initial few hours were devoted to setting the scene and context for the two very different protagonists and events in the recent and long-ago past that brought the cast together. This all took quite a lot of explaining and demanded a lot of the narrator. Secondly, I really did struggle with the narration (accepting that the challenges of the many and various voices were significant). This almost made me put the book aside, but I persevered and as the story evolved, the narration was less of a distraction. In the end I felt the main problem with this recording was that the chapter chunks in no way related to the parts/chapters in the book itself, so virtually impossible to go back and check out a prior detail, as I wanted to on several occasions. I have not found this to be an issue in other Audible presentations.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent! enjoy it all the way through..

love the performance by the narrator. The sense of northern England came across brilliantly and the historical parts where very well

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