- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: November 1, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009WTU8O8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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A Christmas Garland Audiobook – Unabridged
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Four Feathers came to mind because it is also a tale of British soldiers in a hostile land--the Sudan, in this case--where they are not wanted and are badly outnumbered by the natives, who want nothing more than to kill them all and take back their country. The soldiers in Christmas Garland also wonder why they are here in this alien land "for queen and country." There have been horrible atrocities including the savage deaths of the women and children that the soldiers and the men of the East Indian Company have brought with them.
Lieutenant Narraway must defend Corporal John Tallis, a medical orderly who is accused of freeing a Sikh prisoner; the prisoner killed his guard, also a Sikh, and fled to the rebels to betray a patrol of which he had inside knowledge. Nine of the ten in the patrol died. Tallis has no motive. He is only on trial because he is the last man standing, so to speak. He was alone and unseen at the time of the escape, so he had no provable alibi. Narraway believes him to be innocent, as Tallis proclaims himself to be, but how can he prove it? But Narraway is a very persistent man who will not rest until he has done all he can to save Tallis and to serve justice. It is his first step on his path to his career in the police.
This is a book I was truly unable to put down until I had finished it. I felt pity for Tallis and for Narraway as well, who might have been in over his head. Complicating matters is the fact that everyone wants Tallis to hang, and they want it done quickly. To make things worse, Narraway had been at school with the major's younger brother, and they had disliked each other immensely.
Although this book is quite different from most of the other Christmas novels in that it has an exotic setting and is far from the drawing rooms of England, it is as fascinating as the others. I strongly advise reading it; I know you will enjoy it and will learn something as well.
A young Lieutenant, Narraway, must try to defend John Tallis knowing that it is considered only a formality and that the judge has already determined his man's guilt.
In two days, Narraway has to recreate the actual break and re-interview all the persons connected. He meets the widows and children of many of the fallen soldiers. Through intense study, Lt. Narraway begins to form an alternative version of what truly happened.
The courtroom drama holds you in suspense as the Lieutenant's version is played out. Will justice ring true for the Christmas season so badly needed by this garrison? This novel is quickly read and yet is not short on details or story. Ms. Perry does herself proud.
In this one, she takes a minor character from one of the Pitt novels, albeit a character I'm not familiar with, and goes back to his early days as a young lieutenant in India after a siege. A prisoner escapes and, as a result, nearly an entire British patrol is killed. The lieutenant is ordered to take on the thankless task of defending the unit's popular medical orderly who is accused of murder for freeing the prisoner. That orderly is said to be the only one who was not working with anyone else at the time the crime was committed. Things seem impossible but the pressure mounts to get the trial over with before Christmas so that justice can be done and the unit can enjoy its Christmas holiday.
Absolutely loved this one. It's the 10th annual Christmas novella from Perry but each is, in effect, a standalone. For anyone who enjoys a good, quick story, I'd highly recommend this one.
The mystery is bound up in the horrific events of the Indian Mutiny that saw families mutilated. But, as with everything, there are two sides and Perry does not blame everything on the Indian populace that rose up against the British presence, but presents the folly of the British that contributed to it. The mystery is a simple but clever one, and it kept me wondering what was the solution until the very end. The facts are there, and there aren't any last minute surprises thrown in to make you groan in disgust.
Note: for some, the recollections of the soldiers concerning the massacre might be too gory. For others, their interest in British history in India might be piqued.