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Rough Cider

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The author of the highly acclaimed The False Inspector Dew and The Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray mysteries presents a tense and gripping crime novel about a lonely college professor who is haunted by the arrest and murder conviction of a G.I. in World War II England.

“When I was nine, I fell in love with a girl of twenty called Barbara, who killed herself.”

Theo, a
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Crime (first published 1986)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  380 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I saw review of this book on this site and the timing of it coincided with a visit to the library where I was happy to find this paperback that had been waiting for me for 17 years. It was published in US in 2001, though first published in 1986 in UK.
This book was engaging, creative and fun to read as the narrator managed to make the reader feel he was sharing a very good yarn with you that he happened to be prominently featured in, checking now and then to ensure we were grasping the significan
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I like to watch British mystery series on television and I love British mysteries writers such as the classic Dorothy L. Sayers stories with Lord Peter, the Edwardian settings of Anne Perry, the old pubs and inns behind the Martha Grimes novels, the intensive psychology horror that seems ubiquitous in the work of the late Dick Francis, and, my personal favorite, the poetic and comedic stylings of the late Sir John Mortimer (one of the few knighted personages I’ve had the privilege of meeting and ...more
John Lee
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my type of book and Peter Lovesey is my type of author. I have enjoyed his Peter Diamond series and various other stand alone novels that I could find. This is the last on my shelf and was therefore approached with mixed feelings, but a couple of nights ago I needed a book that I knew that I would enjoy from the beginning and therefore chose this one.

I quickly knew that I had made the right choice. A book that can draw me in when I am not sat in my favourite chair in the late evening wit
Elizabeth Elwood
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a very absorbing stand-alone mystery, told by a narrator who was a witness in a murder trial as an eleven-year-old boy. The book begins when the protagonist, Dr. Theo Sinclair, is challenged by Alice Ashenfelter, the daughter of the man hanged for the murder. Horrified to think he might have contributed to the death of an innocent man, Theo clings to his youthful interpretation of events. However, as the story unfolds, he realizes that, truthful as his testimony was, it was coloured by a ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
I rarely stop reading in the middle of a book, but I just couldn't take it anymore. I gave up.

After a promising opening, the book quickly goes downhill. The action dies. Characters sit in bars or homes and talk and talk about the past, trying to decipher it. Nothing happens. At the half-way mark, our "hero" is sitting in a bar, thinking about his situation and feelings for 3 pages. I started skimming the remaining chapters.

I quickly discovered that, yes, the obvious plot twist I'd been expectin
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
A disappointment. Set in the sixties, a young man in his twenties was evacuated to the countryside in the forties where he unwittingly played a part in a tragic crime and trial. At this trial an American service man was found guilty and executed for the murder of a local never-do-well who reportedly raped a local girl. Now, twenty years later the daughter of the GI comes to find out what really happened. Our "hero" is a bit thick headed and who the real murderer was is not exactly a surprise. ...more
Richard Fursland
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant evocation of era and characters, credible plotting and a ‘duh’ denouement making at least this reader wonder why he hadn’t been smart enough to see this coming all along. Delightful and engrossing throughout.
Apr 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery readers
Shelves: mystery
This book confirms Loveseys position as one of the best British crime authors
Feb 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Caroline by: Dad
This is a good murder-mystery that takes place in WW2 England, a favorite literary time period of mine. Good plot with plenty of surprises and nice writing.
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
a silly mystery, not very good. weak characters
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, mystery
A very off-beat mystery. Anyone looking for a new and different take on the genre should try this out.
Sara Bartlett
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
This plot is good and interesting set in WWII, but the writing is poor! Style, dialogue, pace, I just can't believe this author is a major published author! ...more
Absolutely one of the very best authors ever!
Superbly exciting, even if the female lead was exasperatingly poorly written.
Amber Meller
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What the hell!!!!!?????!!!!!
Ogden Jones
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Good mystery that unfolds nicely.
Jack Heath
Mar 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
Synopsis: a lonely college professor is haunted by the arrest and murder conviction of a GI in WW2 England. He is approached by the daughter.
Glenn Hopp
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The strengths of this novel are the sharp sentence-by-sentence style and the unpredictable, careful plotting. I alternated between listening to the book on unabridged audio when working out (read wonderfully by Stephen Thorne) and reading it in the evening. It is the work of an expert author in crime fiction. People who get impatient with the vanilla, verbal style of bestsellers will enjoy the intelligence of Lovesey's writing. It is observant of details in the setting but also of insights that ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I really like mysteries that are tied to the past. In this one, events during WWII are revisited and the truth - which was really a surprise! - is revealed. But...I didn't like either the narrator or the woman who started the search for the truth. ...more
Philip Cumberland
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just read this although it sat on my bookshelf for a while, the waiting to be read shelf. It was an excellent read well plotted the writing as with all Lovesey's books excellent. A great plot twist at the end. ...more
Cyprien Saito
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it was his great achievement.
Janet Westwood
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A different type of crime novel but very engaging an easy read with a unexpected ending.
Pam Foster
Mar 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Good plot, kept you guessing until the last few chapters. Always enjoy Peter Lovesey's writing - will keep reading his books until I run out! ...more
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysterybookgroup
This is a standalone book -- not one of the Peter Diamond series. I guess I was in the mood for one of those. A good read, just not what I was expecting.
Mike Briggs
It is always sad when you reach the last book of a favorite author, the last book you had not yet read. Oh, I this isn't it, nor is Lovesey potentially done. But it is the last book I planned to read, barring brand new books. I have just two books left under the Lovesey name I haven't read, both in the Bertie series. I didn't like the first book in the series well enough to read the second two. Though I think I read a short story staring Bertie that I liked so I might, someday, long in the futur ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it liked it
The mystery is not much. I think I’ve figured out pretty much all of the story long before the main characters did. However, it was fun to join in the ride as Alice & Theo talked to the people from the past.

It didn’t hurt too that Alice was probably one of the most kickass heroine I’ve read in mystery book so far. She was smart, knew what she want and how to get them. It’s not easy considering that her father was hanged for murder (that he did not commit)!

As for Theo.. man, was he a blind fool
Told in first person by a young college instructor in the early 1960s, this is a mystery with its roots in World War II. The narrator was an evacuee living on a farm, who makes friends with the daughter of the farmer and with an American GI who is later executed for murder. 20 years later the GI's daughter shows up looking to clear her father's name. It's a very well-written and compelling mystery that kept me guessing until the end. ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club, mystery
Rather ho-hum and far from riveting for me. The parts set in 1943 were not bad- reminded me of an episode of Foyle"s War and I liked the Somerset dialect & customs. I do NOT, however, wish to try any hard cider if that's the way they still make it- yuck! Rest of my f2f mystery group raved about how good it was. Guess I was not in a mood to be pleased. ...more
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Some distinctly unrealistic points here and the uneven tone of this book with its flashbacks to innocent childhood and periods of "knowing" commentary from the first-person narrator (mainly the latter) diminished the pleasure of this historical mystery. ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: england, mysteries
This is the sad story about a lovely man who was hanged for a murder he did not commit. It was depressing and the beginning did not make up for the end.

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Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936 in Whitton, Middlesex) is a British writer of historical and contemporary crime novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath. Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden ...more

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