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Gallows Thief
Gallows Thief
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Rider Sandman, having fought Napoleon in the French wars, expected to lead the life of an English country gentleman, but now, two years after Waterloo, his family is impoverished, his name is disgraced and he has been forced to relinquish the woman he loves from her obligation to marry him. Desperate to earn money he accepts the job of being the...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060093013
ISBN-10: 0060093013
Publication Date: 4/2002
Edition: Abridged
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: HarperAudio
Book Type: Audio Cassette
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Gallows Thief on + 366 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Bernard Cornwell writes a great historical novel-this one focused on an effort to solve a murder and save a young man from hanging. Harrowing descriptions of the judicial system and captitol punishment as a "spectator's event" are only part of a well written tale that has an intrguing set of characters and a romance sub-plot
GrannyGamer avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 153 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A fantastic historical mystery with one of the best protagonists I've ever read: a fully developed character who, though flawed, is basically a decent man in a cruel era. Unfortunately, despite pleas from his fans, Cornwell has not chosen to make this into a series.
reviewed Gallows Thief on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A great historial novel with and interesting tale.
reviewed Gallows Thief on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Bernard Cornwell is a master of historical adventure fiction. This is a departure from his sagas of war, but is such an engaging adventure/mystery set in early 19th century England (just after the Battle of Waterloo) that it is hard to put down! His historical research and character development are stellar as always.
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sable avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 2 more book reviews
Another action-packed adventure from Bernard Cornwell. Join Rider Sandman, a gallant hero of Waterloo, as he takes up life in Regency London as a not-so-common citizen and fights for the life of a lowly artist, unravels conspiracy and struggles to win the hand of his heart's desire. Will he succeed in time or not?
mp3359 avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 13 more book reviews
Probably one of my favorites of Bernard Cornwell (I've read a number of his historical series). It's a little hard to get going in it at first but keep with it..it's worth it. A great read (and I love the main character)!
hardtack avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 1960 more book reviews
Well, I can't really add to the long review posted here. However, I am glad that I didn't read it before I read the book as it gives away some plot developments.

What I would like to say is that this is an enjoyable book that fits in with a series I am reading about an officer in the British Army who also fought at Waterloo but continues in the Army.

If you would like to read some of Bernard Cornwell's books without committing yourself to a long series, definitely read Gallows Thief, as it is a stand alone novel that is not part of a series (although I wish it were).
althea avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 774 more book reviews
This is likely my favorite book that I've read by Bernard Cornwell.
Although he always writes well-researched historical novels, many of
then are just a little bit too masculine and military-focused for my
taste. With this historical mystery set in 19th century London, he
achieves a more balanced milieu.
Rider Sandman returns to London a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo
expecting the respect given a military hero. However, he finds that in
his absence, his father gambled the family fortune away, and then
committed suicide, leaving him penniless and with an indelible stain
upon his reputation. To make things worse, his mother and sister
expect him to keep them in their accustomed idle and luxurious
lifestyle - they can't even imagine the shame of becoming working
On top of all this, Sandman's planned wedding seems to definitely be off.
Sandman's only source of income is now to play cricket matches -
something he's luckily good at. But is certainly not enough money to
sustain him, and so when Lord Sidmouth recommends him for a job, he's
quick to take it. It seems an easy commission - a portrait painter is
accused of raping and murdering a wealthy lady as she sat for her
portrait. It's sure that he's guilty, but an investigation needs to be
done - purely as a formality - before the man can be hanged.
Unfortunately, when Rider embarks upon his investigation, he quickly
becomes certain that the portrait painter is innocent. For one thing,
he's gay, so it seems very unlikely he would have murdered a woman in
a crime of passion, as it is being alleged. For another thing, the
maid who would have been able to confirm the painter's alibi has
mysteriously disappeared.
Against Lord Sidmouth's wishes, the upright and honest Sandman
involves himself in a race against time to discover the truth before
the young painter is hanged...
Lots of dramatic tension and unexpected plot twists keep the book
exciting, as Cornwell takes the reader on a tour of the gritty,
realistic underside of London's criminal justice system.
reviewed Gallows Thief on + 56 more book reviews
I heard this book on tape and it was excellent. Made the miles fly by!
wgw avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 136 more book reviews
An historical mystery, set in 1820 in England. Very interesting and very well written.
Firefly avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 57 more book reviews
An enjoyable read - an interesting story about 1800s in London. This was the first by this author that I've read. I think I will try some of his others.
GrannyGamer avatar reviewed Gallows Thief on + 153 more book reviews
I loved this book and with Cornwell would come out with another featuring the main protagonist, Rider Sandman. He's a great hero, and the characterization of him and the others is as excellent as the plot. The setting is intriquing as well. (Note: I am NOT the person offering this book, so I'm not biased .. I really loved the book. In fact, I even wrote to the author, something I almost never do!).


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