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Bristol House

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
In the tradition of Kate Mosse, a swiftly-paced mystery that stretches from modern London to Tudor England

In modern-day London, architectural historian and recovering alcoholic Annie Kendall hopes to turn her life around and restart her career by locating several long-missing pieces of ancient Judaica. Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, is soon drawn into her quest,
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Viking (first published January 1st 2013)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
When the Shalom Foundation, run by billionaire American Jew Philip Weinraub, approaches Dr Annie Kendall with a proposition she can't refuse, little does she realise just what the three-month research project she's signed up for will entail. The proposition is quite simple: go to London and research the so-called Jew of Holborn, a Jew who lived in hiding during the Cromwell years (1535 in particular), who found a treasury of ancient Jewish artefacts and later distributed them to synagogues acros ...more
Ingrid
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Cleverly put together and fun to read.
Cheryl
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Annie Kendall is a historian. She specializes in the Renaissance England time period, specially the Tudor era. This is why when Annie receives the offer from the Shalom Foundation to come and research some ancient artifacts from the Hold Land she jumps at the opportunity. Annie will be staying at Bristol House, which is only a four minute walk from the British Museum. Unfortunately Annie is not alone in the house. Her guest is a monk. Who just happens to be dead. As if this is not enough for Ann ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction buffs, mystery fans, and romance fans
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Viking Press and Netgalley
The publisher's blurb for Beverly Swerling's new novel, Bristol House talked about the blending of historical fiction with a supernatural thriller in a "dual period narrative". For that reason alone, I would have read it. Then it mentioned that the historical part was set in Tudor England, a period of history that I am particularly fond of. At that point I was hooked.

Annie Kendall is a historical researcher who accepts a job to travel to London to verify the existence of a Jewish community in L
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Kathryn Laceby
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

I had no idea what to expect on starting Bristol House and was happily engrossed after a few chapters in a fascinating novel of historical intrigue. It tied into things I’ve been interested in for years- The Knights Templar, anything Tudor and religious history and as far as I could tell, the story was balanced on a great base of historical accuracies and accepted truths.

Swerling has interwoven a present and a past storyline to meet in a vortex of another plan
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Missy
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love Beverly Swerling's earlier work. This book was boring all the way through, but I kept reading because I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and the "City of Dreams" books. It didn't feel like a natural progression for her work. It seemed as though she could have taken the historical part of this book and created something similar to what she has done before. Her best work has been in taking a wealth of highly interesting historical information and building strong, deep, and believable char ...more
Book Him Danno
On the surface this book was hitting all the things I like. You have a wandering academic in England tracking down some small piece of history, only to get involved with some shadow organization and a much larger conspiracy. So working through and against time can she piece together the clues and codes left by our historical heroes and save the day? And if that wasn’t enough it had a nice romance layered on top of the whole thing. What is not to love?

Well unfortunately at no point did this book
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TChuck Garman
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read advanced copy in anticipation of author visit. Well crafted story of a recovering alcoholic working toward re-establishing her credentials by taking on a research project that will lead to publishing professional articles. She stumbles into a historical mystery with 21st century implications. With the help of a new found relationship with a well connected English broadcaster and the specter of a 500 years dead monk, she uncovers a plot that could destroy the catholic church.

Not my usual far
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Susan
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not only did this book have secret tunnels, maps, ancient manuscripts and artefacts, it was set in both present day London, and the London of Tudor times, which made it completely irresistible to me.
It certainly didn't disappoint, as it turned out to be an interesting and intelligent mystery, peopled by some excellent characters, and full of fascinating and informative historical detail, a little romance....and ghosts....
It kept me interested untill the last page, and sent me on a search for mor
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Steph
Jan 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I was expecting to really like this book, because it sounds like something that would be right up my alley. A dual-time period narrative featuring a mystery that goes back to Tudor London and a ghost? Sounds interesting! Unfortunately, I just found myself at turns frustrated and bored with the story. But I hate not finishing books once I've started them, so I kept reading.

The basic premise is that Annie Kendall is hired by the New York-based Shalom Foundation to travel to London and research a J
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Denise
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.0 out of 5 stars - a novel that inspired the researcher in me!

This is a complex and intriguing story that blends history and present day with a time-bending element that keeps the reader turning the pages late into the night -- with a computer handy to delve deeper, searching for details to seek further understanding.

Dr. Annie Kendall, a recovering alcoholic and architectural historian, is engaged by the Shalom Foundation and its charismatic leader, Philip Weinraub, to search for Judaica that
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M.J.
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel. Just a wonderful historical suspense/ghost story with really well developed characters you care about and a story you haven't read 100 times. Well done!! Highly recommended!.
Viviane Crystal
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Annie Kendall’s academic historian career has been at a standstill for ten years when she’s offered the chance of a lifetime, or so she sees it. She is hired by Weinraub, the head of the Shalom Foundation, to travel to London and find secret treasures hidden by Giacomo the Lombard, also known as the Jew of Holbern. These treasures are connected to the ancient Second Temple of Jerusalem. But there’s a heaviness and threatening attitude from Weinraub that bothers Annie but not enough initially to ...more
Leslie
Annie Kendall has begun a three month research project in London to locate long missing artifacts for Shalom Foundation. Days into her research she meets Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, and discovers the flat she is subletting is haunted by a ghost that appears to be trying to contact her to warn her about something. The story moves back and forth between Annie in the present and 1535 Tudor London where Dom Justin, Carthusian Monk, narrates an intertwining tale.

Within days Annie feels a
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Patrice Hoffman
This is the first novel I've read by Beveryly Swerling and it caught my attention intially because it's described as having many of the qualities I like in my reading such as historical fiction, suspense, mystery, and ghosts. Dr. Annie Kendall is invited to London to research Judaica for the Shalom Foundation. She is definitely damaged goods with the fact that she's a recovering alcoholic, has lost custody of her only son, and is now seeing ghosts. She knows instantly that it isn't the hallucina ...more
Nadia
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Does this novel sound fantastic or what? I love the idea of mixing historical fiction with a bit of the supernatural - makes for quite an interesting and rather spooky read. Plus, Annie sounds like a woman on a mission. She wants her career and personal life (custody of her kid and alcoholism under control) on track and is working toward those goals, all the while having to deal with a ghost who will not leave her alone. Sounds creepy and a bit stalker-y. I've never read any Swerling before ...more
Ionia
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bristol House is the first of Beverly Swerling's novels that I have read. I think I might be hooked. This book deals with both the past and the present and then ties them together in a seemingly effortless way.

Anyone who has studied religious history will clearly see how much reality is presented in this fictional tale. The author has done her research for this book and that made it a very enjoyable and ultimately unforgettable read.

I really liked the main character Annie. She was on point thr
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Lianne
Bristol House was a very interesting read. The author utilises information about the Jewish presence in 16th century English society effectively, tying it with events surrounding the religious and monastic houses at a time when Henry VIII is breaking away from Rome. The characters, especially the protagonist Annie Kendall, is quite a unique character whose back story is one I haven't really come across in these kinds of novels yet.

While I enjoyed the way that the story gradually unfolded, with
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Naomi Blackburn
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Read my full review: http://bit.ly/18DduYA

3.5/5 Stars

My opinion: This story is told from two different perspectives (Annie and Dom Justin) in two different periods of time. I loved that, but must admit that I did love Dom Justin's story and felt it was more engaging than Annie's story.

On that note, in reading the book's description, this type of book is right up my alley. I expected the book to grab me by the throat and not let go. It didn't. I found myself putting it down a lot because there w
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JayeL
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, audio, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hillary
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Beverly Swerling books!!!! I have read all but one of her books and plan to read that one and any future ones.

Beverly Swerling definitely does her research which is reflected in her books.
Sandy M
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book. The blurb just sounded interesting. What I got was so much more than that.

Ms. Swerling does an excellent job of imparting information, religious and political, along with the paranormal, throughout this book. Especially for someone like me who isn’t familiar with the Jewish faith, historical or modern, and someone who doesn’t give two hoots about most things political. Of course, in the context of this story, the politics are definit
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Kathleen
BUCKLE UP, GUYS, THIS IS A WEIRD ONE.

I'm just going to state ahead of time that I'm going to spoil the plot, because you cannot properly appreciate how bananas this book is unless you know the ending. If you don't want to be spoiled and would rather discover the batshittery for yourself, don't read past the cut. Got it? Awesome.

Bristol House, by Beverly Swerling, bills itself as a supernatural thriller/historical fiction. It follows two narratives. The first is that of Annie Kendall, a modern-da
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Jessica
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Ah, this book. Bristol House and I never really meshed, sadly. Despite my best efforts to immerse myself in Annie Kendall's story, I never felt that committed to it. Truth be told, this book got set aside more than once while I was reading through it.

Now, I find it necessary to mention that I'm still dipping my toes into the waters of historical fiction. What most caught my eye about Bristol House, was that there was a paranormal bend to it. Stories that interlace the past and the present fascin
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Sierra Ferrante
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book took me a little time to get into, but once I was about 1/3 of the way through the story quickly picked up pace.

Annie Kendall begins an exciting 3 month adventure in London doing research on a project involving an ancient Jew of Holborn from the 1500s during the rein of Henry the VIII. She is hoping this work will give her the break she needs to get back on her feet after being a recovering alcoholic and losing custody of her son. While in London, Annie rents the old Bristol House whic
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Annie
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a most excellent 5 star read. my head is full of information, that's a good thing!

Oh my gosh this was an excellent book and the definition of a literary thriller although…
isn't it redundant to call a book "literary" aren't all books by their very words literary…:)

This is the first but, not the last book I will read from this wonderful author Beverly Swerling. On her website about this book it says “A 21st century woman and a 16th century monk, Their destinies on a collision course – linked by a
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Sandie
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dr. Annie Kendall has come to London on a research project she hopes will reestablish her academic career. That career had been promising until alcoholism wrecked it and her personal life. Now sober for four years, Annie is given a chance to make a contribution to history. A Jewish billionaire named Weinraub has offered to support Annie's research into the Tudor era in England and establish the historical reality of a silversmith known as the Jew Of Holbern.

Annie rents a flat near the Holbern s
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Kendal
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bristol House is a wonderful book of history, intrigue and redemption. Annie Kendall is scholar trying to recover her reputation and her dignity after years of alcohol abuse. Annie is trying to redeem herself to reclaim her life and her son. She is a very complex character who constantly struggles with guilt and her sense of mission to solve a mystery. I liked Annie quite a bit. She is flawed but thanks to her recovery she recognizes those flaws and accepts them as who she is. She is a fighter!

T
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Athena
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marilyn
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won’t go into the plot in my ‘review’ because many have already done so. I just wanted to express my opinion.
I really enjoyed this author’s “City of…” books and historical fiction is my favorite genre, so when I saw that she had a new one coming out that took place in London (a city I love), I knew I just had to read it. The author certainly does her research, something that I admire, especially in an author who writes historical fiction. Normally, I do not ‘just a book by its cover’ but I thr
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I’m told that a number of critics who have said kind things about my books, have been less kind about the very brief bio on my book jackets. First, don’t blame Simon & Schuster; it’s my fault. Publishers use the data supplied by the author for this kind of thing, and I didn’t supply much. I guess because it seems that almost everything needs a long explanation. Which is probably me being egoti ...more
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