Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner

Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3)Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my goodness, I now need to listen to all of the Outlander series on audiobook! Or at least I do if they are all read by voice actors as wonderful as Jeff Woodman & Rick Holmes. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when this book started playing, and I was so grateful that it was 13 CDs long. Bliss!

The Grey brothers have extensive evidence of corruption by an army officer and set out to track him down and bring him to justice. Among the papers in the packet of evidence is a poem they believe to be written in "Erse" (the language of the Scottish Highlanders), so John's brother Harold sends soldiers to fetch Jamie from Hellwater and bring him to London to translate what turns out to be an Irish poem. To Jamie's dismay, a former comrade and die-hard Irish Jacobite, Tobias Quinn, has followed him there. Next thing Jamie knows, he's on a boat to Ireland with both Lord John & Quinn, battling brutal seasickness and trying to convince his unwelcome Irish companion that the Jacobite cause is dead and should be put to rest.

This novel is sort of a bridge between Gabaldon's Outlander series and her Lord John series. It features both Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey and takes place during 1760 when Jamie is "on parole" at Hellwater--after Ardsmuir Prison but before being free & Claire coming back. The chapters switch back and forth between Jamie's & John's points of view, and the voice actors likewise switch back and forth, doing the voices for all the people in their respective chapters.

I've seen a thread on Goodreads of people complaining about the narrators--Rick Holmes, in particular--and I do not understand why they are so displeased. True, I am not Scottish and have never (yet) been to Scotland and cannot therefore say for sure how accurate Holmes' Scottish accent is, but sheesh! His voice is wonderful and brought Jamie to life in a whole new way for me!

For readers' advisors: Like Gabaldon's other Outlander books, this one is pretty long and involves intertwining subplots and political intrigue. There is some relatively graphic sexual content, but no real sex scenes (it's all memory, fantasy, and dreams). There is quite a lot of swearing but all of it makes contextual sense. Character and setting doorways are primary; story is secondary.

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