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Lord John and the Hand of the Devils

Written by: Diana Gabaldon
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Diana Gabaldon, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Outlander saga and a Quill Award winner, delivers a treat for her many fans - a collection of three novellas starring the ever-popular Lord John Grey.

In these tales, Lord John vows to avenge a murder, investigates a terrifying "night-hag" on the battlefields of Europe, and discovers treason in His Majesty's ranks.

©2008 Diana Gabaldon (P)2008 Recorded Books

What the critics say

"Gabaldon brings an effusive joy to her fiction." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Gabaldon's strengths are on full display....Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Teahouse Fox
  • 2010-10-12

Lord John Grey comes to life

John Grey, a seemingly minor character encountered by the main protagonists of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, becomes a central character on his own in a series of short stories and books. He is a soldier, a gentleman, a noble man (in the original sense of the word), a sodomite, and an altogether human hero - often dragged into the heart of 18th century intrigues during the time surrounding the 7 Years War (French and Indian War to the Americans) in the years between the Scottish Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the American Revolution in 1776.

Readers of this series might give the Outlander series a miss, but you will lose out on serveral interactions between John and the Frasers that give a richer view of the character. The Outlander novels are a whopping 40 hours each on average, where LJ reads range between 1 and 14 hours.

You should definitely not read the Lord John series out of sequence to itself, which is easy to do accidentally since chronologically it alternates between shortstories and full length novels. Hand of the Devils contains three of the four current short stories, and while they are in order in this collection, make references to events in Private Matter and Brotherhood which leave the reader wanting to know what the heck happened though it does not have an immediate impact on the story.

As of October 2010, the order to read Lord John in is:
Hellfire (Hand of Devils); Private Matter (novel); Succubus (Hand of Devils); Brotherhood of the Blade(novel); Haunted Soldier (Hand of Devils); Custom of the Army (Warriors, Anthology); Scottish Prisoner (novel not yet released).

192 of 193 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dina
  • 2009-05-11

A small plate of savories

Highly recommended as an appetizing complement to the Outlander series. These three stories fill in a wealth of details about Lord John Greys's life and character. I don't know how interesting I would find them as stand alone works, but they provide backstory for one of my favorite personalities in the Outlander series. Plus they contain lots of clues and context for the longer Lord John books.

As usual with Diana Gabaldon there is a wealth of historic detail and some sly humor, with the added twist of the mysteries to be solved. The style of the writing is quite different from that in the Outlander main series - like fine claret as opposed to scotch whiskey, perhaps? Both appeal to me.

That being said, the final story 'Hand of Devils' does feel like it could easily be twice as long and better for it; I wanted to know more about some of the characters who remained undeveloped. Still it does tie up some of the loose ends from Brotherhood of the Blade (and will make a lot more sense if you have read that book).

I find Jeff Woodman's nuanced reading delightful, he brings the varied cast of characters to life - particularly Grey and his loyal, long suffering valet Tom Byrd. I've listened to these more than once in the past year, and enjoyed picking up on things I missed the first time.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • 2008-06-30

heads up

You should read all the other Lord John stories before this one or the frequent references will just confuse. Also note that the the first two stories ( Hellfire and the Succubus) are available also on audible so if you are a big Gabaldon fan you will only be getting this book for the third story.

63 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2015-04-24

Editorial Errors

There are several places throughout the story where the reader has had to repeat a phrase, a Clause, or even as much as a complete paragraph or page. It seems to me that the publisher should enlist the services of a good editor. Here I mean a human being with keen eyes and experience. Apparently neither the programer, who wrote the code for the grammar, syntax and other elements for the proper presentation of a quality work of literature, nor the editor (Was there actually a human editor?) had bothered to examine this piece to ensure the quality of the presentation. The author should sit down with the publisher and demand a re-recording after a scouring of this piece to correct all aforementioned errors.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
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  • Kindle Customer mmr
  • 2013-04-01

Reliable Gabaldon, Good Narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it because it is a reliably interesting Diana Gabaldon book, which means that the story pulls you in, the historical setting is so well-drawn you feel you are there, and the reader gains insight into what was happening to one of the lesser characters (Lord John) in the Outlander series between his appearances in the "Big Books."

Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

Lord John is voiced so very well by Jeff Woodman that his voice is the one I will hear in my head when I read other Lord John episodes in the Outlander series as well as the Lord John novels and novellas.

If you could take any character from Lord John and the Hand of the Devils out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Of course it would have to be Lord John. These are his stories, and he has led a very interesting and adventurous life.

Any additional comments?

If you like Diana Gabaldon's books, you will like the Lord John stories. Just don't expect this book to be about the Fraser's. It is not.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine Flinn
  • 2016-09-15

love the story, unedited reading

This book is great, the narrator, however, has not been fully edited and occasionally repeats himself when testing out different ways to say something.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2012-12-12

Liked this a lot!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

While I had read that some people did not care for the narrator on these books, I like him a lot! I like learning more about Lord John's earlier years, and find him to be a very well rounded and real character. Enjoyed the book very much!

What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Love the various voices he uses in developing the personality of the characters - it isn't the same as when I read them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sophia Rose
  • 2019-05-03

The Adventurous Life and Times of Lord John

al-mystery-suspense, miltary-romance-contemp-fut-hist
Read 2 times. Last read April 18, 2019 to May 2, 2019.

In an effort to read the Lord John Grey series in order, I have not read this anthology of short story and novellas together, but rather where they fall in the story time line. I love John Grey's character in the Outlander series and was so pleased to see that he had his own stories.

The first story in this book, Lord John and the Hellfire Club, was a nice introduction and reminder of his character while posing a nice murder mystery plot. John has just returned to London and visits a few of his old haunts meeting an old army friend. He is still raw from his experiences with the Scottish prisoner and sees hints of the man at every turn. But soon his thoughts have a new direction when a newly made acquaintance asks for a private interview and then gets murdered almost before his very eyes. John agrees to inquire into the matter of the young man's death and the trail leads to unexpected people and place. I found it engaging and it has whetted my appetite for the rest of the stories. 4.19.13

I just finished the second story, the novella Lord John and the Succubus. Now that was a nice atmospheric mystery set just after the events of Lord John and the Private Matter. John becomes the liaison between the English army and the Prussians in their war against the French and the Austrians near a small town in Germany. Things are going until a rumor of a Succubus breaks out and men start cropping up dead. Between negotiating this superstition, intrigue in the castle where he resides and worrying about the location of the enemy, John has his hands full. My only niggle was the ending was abrupt like you get in a shorter story, but nothing to upsetting. It was another enjoyable installment in the series. 4.27.13

Finally was able the third story after I finished the novel that comes between the second and third stories. For a novella, this one was charged with the danger, tension and internal turmoil that the author is good at. There was the mystery of the sabotage and the accusations that were flung at him going on, but John was also commissioned to discover the whereabouts of a dead lieutenant's woman. This story was very much a follow up to certain events near the end of 'Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade' so I don't want to get detailed and spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, it was a gripping, entertaining read that was just one more wonderful story in the Lord John series. 6.2.13

In conclusion, if you are thinking of passing on the short story and novellas in this book, don't. These are well worth it and to skip them would to missing out on a good part of Lord John's ongoing story.

Update: I did a re-read listen to this book with the talented Jeff Woodman narrating. I really do enjoy his voice work for John and all the regular characters of this series. John is a thoughtful person, his valet Tom is sharp and eager, Harry is bluff and engaging, and the German accents during the Succubus tale were good. Woodman captures the voices and stories so well There were some editing issues where phrases were repeated now and again. But, it was a delight to listen to these three stories and the author's note with as much interest as the first time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephanie
  • 2017-10-24

Great!

The narrator is a wonder! Loved the way he brought the characters to life. The short stories were a lot of fun and a great look into this side character from the main Outlander series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 2008-12-17

Lord John Gray and the hand of the Devils

I have to put this read away. Maybe I'll continue it at a later date. Wow, my own fault for not listening to others' reviews. I couldn't believe that two book series could feel so different. I love the Outlander series and wanted to read more into the characters...even a spin off. However, I feel like I went from a big screen movie (Outlander) to a 'B' rated movie (Lord John). I don't know if it is the writing or the narrator's voice, but the feel and quality of the story is way off. And the mention of Jamie Frazer seems forced. John doesn't seem to have the same force of character, which seems strange coming from the same author. So, maybe it all has to do with the narrator. Sorry, save your credits.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful