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The Four Last Things (Roth, #1)
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The Four Last Things (Roth #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  346 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Angel, the perfect childminder, preys on young children. But everything starts to slip out of control when Angel steals her latest victim, Lucy Appleyard. Having massacred the innocents over the years, she now wants someone to know about it.
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Published February 5th 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 795)
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Sarah
25/9 - I love it when people (in books or tv, I've never actually heard it said in RL) use the phrase "Is that the time? I must dash." or words to that effect. It always brings me back to Fawlty Towers, I can't remember exactly which episode it's from but reading it always makes me laugh. To be continued...

26/9 - On page 89,

Clutching the box of paper handkerchiefs...".

Hasn't, like, the whole world been calling them tissues for some time now? That's a very odd way of putting it. *Shakes head in c...more
Doug Beatty
I would be hard pressed to call this a mystery, although there is a crime. But, as you are also following the persons who committed the crime, it falls more into the genre of crime thriller.

This is the first in Andrew Taylor's Roth Trilogy, centering around a London suburb called Roth. In it we meed the Appleyards, and their four year old daughter Lucy. When Lucy is snatched from the home of the woman who watches her during the day, the race is on to hopefully get her back.

You also meet the du...more
Laura
Mar 30, 2010 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Heidi
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
"Evil causes led to evil effects, which themselves became causes of further evil. Could you ever hope to end the consequences, or would they stretch through the centuries from past and future?"
~ Andrew Taylor, The Judgement of Strangers

In the three books that make up The Roth Trilogy, Andrew Taylor has set out to write a series of inter-related mysteries occurring over several decades of the twentieth century. What makes Taylor's books so unusual - and so interesting - is that he does it "backwa...more
Jj Le
I have never read anything by Andrew Taylor, so I was very excited to dive in to his book. He has a great style of writing. I want say it is as scary and thrilling as I imagine. But it was a good read. It was sad how it ended. So I didn't really care to much for the ending. I thought it should end a lot differently. ( But don't all us readers do lol.)

I also enjoyed how Andrew Taylor took the title and tied it so perfectly in the story. I enjoyed how the title was what made up the middle to the e...more
Anita
OK, it's not really fair for me to review this since I didn't really read it. I only started it, then skipped to the end - something I RARELY do. Even my usual speed reading was just not fast enough for me. As a mom, I just cannot read books now about children being kidnapped and having to live through the reactions of the parents and all that. If a book's written REALLY well, then I can force myself through it, but sadly, this book lost me in the beginning with all the anti-working women talk (...more
Leslie
How have I missed Andrew Taylor? Taylor's first - part of a trilogy which can be read in any order, according to the author) - is a short sharp shock of a mystery. Not a police procedural, despite a main character's being in the London police, it relies more on the experience of several of the characters within the Anglican church. Indeed, the protagonist, Sally Appleyard, is a curate, and we experience her crisis of faith with her as she copes with her daughter's kidnapping. Told from Sally's p...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
The first part of a trilogy that has me wondering where the last two parts will go. I know from the introduction to this book that they go backwards in time and to other places and there are plenty of hints to the characters pasts in this book that I'm looking forward to filling in with details.

This is a story about the abduction of four year old Lucy Appleyard, the daughter of Michael, a police detective, and Sally, a Church of England deacon. The fact that the main mystery is solved but the th...more
Yolanda
I don't usually read this genre and now I know why! It was a book club choice so I saw it through. I was on the edge of my seat towards the end of the book but I did guess the ending. I'm not sure if I will read the other two books in the trilogy. Although thinking about it I may not be able to help myself! It was well written and a page turner - I just didn't like the whole child abduction thing. I did enjoy The American Boy so it hasn't put me off Andrew Taylor.
Heidi
I was blown away by this book, and this author. It's as if you crossed Margaret Drabble or Iris Murdoch with a commercial detective writer. The subject is difficult (child kidnapping/abuse) but the author spins such a mezmerizing tale, and the characters are so real (including, believe it or not, one of the kidnappers) that I was in awe. Apparently, Taylor has written many other mysteries, including some historical ones, and I have already ordered several. BTW, this book is the first of a trilog...more
Elaine
I never read mysteries and almost never read stories of children abducted by fictional psychopaths. Why did I read this one? I snagged an Early Reviewer's copy of Taylor's Bleeding Heart Square a year ago, and surprisingly found it to be a good read even it it was a mystery. The character development was excellent. The writing was at least up one step from competent, and I read it through without stopping. So, looking for some easy reading to while away lazy summer afternoons, I bought this and...more
Jeremy Good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Majanka
Book review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/...

I have contradictory feelings toward this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it, especially the passages where we could get into Eddie’s mind. Eddie is a disturbed individual, but the woman he lives with, Angel, who manipulates him and everyone around her, is a lot worse. It’s basically like getting to choose between two evils. I liked the set-up of that, although some passages made me want to throw up. Either way, plot...more
Linda
Over the past year, Andrew Taylor has become a favorite author of mine, for the tautness of his plots, the pithy nature of his prose, and most importantly, for his ability to first develop his central characters and then to commingle their fates. To accomplish this in one novel is remarkable. To do so in a series such as the Roth Trilogy is exceptional, and it is not hyperbole to say that his novels transcend genre. Taylor has mastered the art of building atmosphere and tension, revealing bits a...more
L-J Johnson
It appeared this novel was going to be about how a married couple - a clergywoman and a cop - deal with the most horrible tragedy possible. However, it introduced too many characters - the ranting woman in the church, the husband's godfather, the bishop - and made them seem significant, then gave them inexplicable things to do and no closure. This is one of three books involving the same families and geographical location over several generations, so perhaps Taylor was setting up things that wou...more
Martine Bailey
This has to be my best read of 2014 so far. Beautifully creepy, always lucid, painfully suspenseful. As a mystery writer myself I found myself looking back at certain agonizing passages and thinking - how did he do that? Yes, the reader begins this book full of trepidation because there is about to be a child abduction but in Taylor's hands the event becomes something much more character-driven and psychologically perceptive.
I am just now rewarding myself with the second part of the trilogy, Th...more
Estibaliz79
4 1/2 para esta novela que trata sobre lo que pasa cuando lo malo se junta con lo peor... a tal punto que lo malo parece menos malo, y lo peor, aún peor. Una historia negra, oscura, de una crueldad fascinante, que te atrapa y horroriza sin remedio.
Interesante primera parte de una 'Trilogía de Roth'de planteamiento aún más interesante. El propio autor puntualiza en una final que los tres títulos están interconectados, pero se pueden leer de forma independiente, y además parece que la narración de...more
Ruth Innes
First in a trilogy. A curate and policeman's daughter is abducted. An exploration of marriage under stress, and a glimpse into the minds of the criminals. Interesting observations of church characters.
Ant Harrison
This is certainly up to Andrew Taylor’s usual high standard, really atmospheric writing, once again reinforcing my experience of being transported to the time and place he has imagined. The characters are believable, even the children, and the odd mix of personal backgrounds of the main protagonists makes for an original take on the generally over-hyped ‘abducted child’ theme. This is part one of his Roth Trilogy, so I’d suggest starting here, although it’s good as a stand-alone novel.

© Koplowit...more
Sandra
The main reason I discard books before the end is because they're badly written, which cannot be said about anything Andrew Taylor writes (though it felt more than a little pedestrian here; old-fashioned). But I could not get engaged in this one - too much religion, too much inaccurately-drawn four-year-old; an over-apathetic husband, over-self-analytical mother and (unsurprisingly) extremely dislikeable villains. But I read to the end, and the writing earns this two rather than one star
Nancy
Liked it so much am going to read the rest of the Roth Trilogy. What makes a serial killer? Is it in the blood, or is it a developed trait? This was a horrifying story of children being kidnapped...for reasons only known to a psychotic personality...the killer. This book stands alone or can be read in conjunction with the rest of the trilogy.
Tracy
Sep 17, 2009 Tracy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robert
To all those people who said, "I can't believe I'd never read Andrew Taylor before," I agree, I can't believe I hadn't, either. And now I am so glad I have. This first one had me so intrigued that I knew I had to continue and read the other two. What led Angel to become such a freak? Why is Uncle David such a jerk? I have to know...
Johanna
I completely agree with Anita's review. I skimmed this book - something I rarely do. I found the subject interesting, but I have a hard time with children being kidnapped. Too traumatizing. I also felt this was pretty anti- working moms, which I have a problem with. It felt more than a little misogynistic.
Brandy
I just finished this book and I can compare it to Lovely Bones in a way. Thankfully the story ends well. There are 2 more books that stem from this one, but I dont know that I will read them because I have a hard time with psychological damage.
Catie
i was really surprised that i liked this book. when i picked it up at the library it sounded but i thought i would get it anyways because i really needed something to read. i couldn't put it down. a good book and an easy read
Eileen
A good suspenseful page-turner, the first book in a trilogy that goes backward in time somehow - I will probably read the other two just to satisfy my curiosity about how the reverse timeline actually plays out.
Carolyn
Very interesting English mystery, my first introduction to enlish phrases and dialect. Starting on book #2 of the trilogy today. Like the way the characters are interwoven throughout the years. A good thrilling read.
Sandi
First published book in the Roth Trilogy (though the third chronologically). A female Anglican curate and her policeman husband are rocked by the kidnapping of their daughter. Lots of church politics and theology.
Jessica
My god, this was a good book. I can't wait to read the others. While it's not the best ever, it was a very engaging, complex book with believable characters. It was creepy and not too gory.
Megan
This book was disturbing...but the ending had me interested in the next one (it's a trilogy). But not sure that I want to since this one disturbed me. Troubling and confusing.
Amy
B.O.R.I.N.G. I'm very OCD and hate to leave books unfinished. But in this case, I made an exception. I wanted to like it. It just didn't happen. Oh, well...
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Andrew Taylor (b. 1951) is a British author of mysteries. Born in East Anglia, he attended university at Cambridge before getting an MA in library sciences from University College London. His first novel, Caroline Miniscule (1982), a modern-day treasure hunt starring history student William Dougal, began an eight-book series and won Taylor wide critical acclaim. He has written several other thrill...more
More about Andrew Taylor...
The American Boy The Anatomy of Ghosts Bleeding Heart Square The Judgement of Strangers (The Roth Trilogy, #2) The Office of the Dead (The Roth Trilogy, #3)

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“The grief of children was unconditional, fueled by the implicit belief that it would last forever; for a child, grief was not grief unless it was eternal.” 2 likes
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