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Romance, intrigue, legend and adventure meet in this Lebanon-set classic Gothic romance by beloved author Mary Stewart.
Legend has it that when the Gabriel Hounds run howling over the crumbling palace of Dar Ibrahim, high in the Adonis Valley of Lebanon, death will follow on their heels. When rich, spoilt Christie Mansel arrives at the decaying palace to look after her eccentric Aunt Harriet, she arrives to the sound of howling dogs. The palace is riddled with hidden passages and the servants are unwilling to let anyone see Harriet during the day. It seems the palace hides an extraordinary secret...one that somebody is willing to kill to keep.
'The deep blue oblong of sky above the open court was pricking already with brilliant stars. No ugly diffusion of city light spoiled the deep velvet of that sky; even hanging as it was above the glittering and crowded richness of the Damascus oasis, it spoke of the desert and the vast empty silence beyond the last palm tree.'
What the critics say
"A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors." (Harriet Evans)
What listeners say about The Gabriel HoundsAverage Customer Ratings
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Great suspense, strong heroine
Great mystery in an intriguing, atmospheric setting. Independent young woman finds herself in an unusual and dangerous situation in a crumbling Lawrence of Arabia style desert palace fortress. She is helped by a man but relies on herself to solve mystery and save herself.
I have read it more than once but really enjoyed this audiobook.
There are some outdated societal standards but nothing offensive and they almost seem token. She is an "everywoman" in an exceptional situation as are all of Mary Stewart suspense heroines.
The narration is very good and follows the tone of the story.
5 people found this helpful
Makes you want to visit the Levant
I've enjoyed re-reading this book for the past 45 years and am pleased to have it on audible. Overall the narrator does a good job, but the Lebanese driver (hired car) sounds like he is a London cabbie. That accent was never used by any driver in the Levant, but it is more funny than offensive. The story of a young lady visiting her eccentric Aunt, who has based her lifestyle on Lady Hester Stanhope, builds gradually into a tense mystery full of Salukis, harems and sinister characters. Mary Stuart's description of the locale is, as always, wonderful.
4 people found this helpful
How many fits of nausea fit into two pages?
I like Mary Stewart novels and her plucky intelligent heroines. Unfortunately, this one is a glaring exception - a brainless chit who conquers all the villains and problems by being sick and nauseous when something happens or when seeing a cat. The final pages are a monstrous pile of coincidencies and stupid-lucky escapes. The main thought all through the book was "they - the villains - should have dropped that idiot like a hot potato and just go into some bomb shelter as she was more erratic and destructive in her befavior than an Alabama tornado.
Ellie Heydon does a very good job - which unfortunately, only makes the general stupidity of the heroine only more visible.
2 people found this helpful
- Jackie Houchin
A great story by my Fave Aurhor!
I loved The Gabriel Hounds! So exotic, set in Lebanon snd in a Sheik's castle no less. The author's descriptions are so vivid, the story so compelling that you just can't put it down. The best in gothic mystery romance. Loved the narrator as well.