Bellman and Black

9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442364387. $39.99; digital download. F
Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale) sets an unhurried pace in her tale of William Bellman, starting with a remarkable aim from his slingshot that kills a rook and amazes his childhood friends. Years later, he's still occasionally haunted by the rook's death. When his wife and three of his four children die from an illness that has struck every family in his village, William is overcome with grief. He forms a partnership with a black-clad stranger who inexplicably attended the funeral of each family member. William devotes his life to the growth and profits of the new venture with his enigmatic silent partner, ignoring all others, including his remaining child. The reading by Jack Davenport makes this book a joy to listen to; his mellifluous voice is perfect for the Dickensian style of this title.
VERDICT An excellent listen. ["Lovers of true ghost stories may be disappointed, but fans of Setterfield's best-selling debut will snatch this one up," read the review of the Emily Bestler: Atria hc, LJ 10/1/13.]

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