by Susanna Kearsley
Narrator: Sally Armstrong
Length: 12 hours and 1 minute
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
A brooding and atmospheric Scottish tale from a RITA and RT Reviewers Choice Award-winning and New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
The invincible ninth Roman Legion marches from York to fight the Northern tribes, and then vanishes from the pages of history. When Verity Grey goes looking for them, she may find more than she bargained for.
Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.
Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it - not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.
Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.
Today, I have Sophia Rose on the blog to share her review of the audiobook The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. This tale is a romantic suspense and is narrated by Sally Armstrong. Grab a cup of cocoa and find out Sophia’s thoughts on this standalone listen.
Guest Review from Sophia Rose
A Roman Legion that disappeared in history, an intrepid and varied group on an archaeological dig, and a shadowy soldier from the past form the grounds for a captivating tale.
The Shadowy Horses sets up steady, but sure. The reader is introduced to the characters, the setting, and the situation at the same time as the main character, Verity Grey. Verity is a solid thinker and sensible though she has a developed sense of humor. I enjoyed having her tell the story as she observes nuances well. She doesn’t easily believe in little Robbie’s psychic gift or that there is a ghostly Roman legionnaire, but she does sense the atmosphere around her.
The minute I knew this was a suspense set up around a historical mystery and archaeological dig in Scotland; I had to read it. Kearsley is already a favorite author, and I was confident she would deliver on my expectation. The Shadowy Horses had a slow build suspense with romantic elements. It seems to go along with daily life around Rosehill, the dig, and the local village, but always it reveals the puzzle pieces that Verity and the reader catch and work out how they fit. This one is a sleeper and will not leap out and grab the reader, but gently tug them closer.
There is a large cast of characters surrounding Verity, and I enjoyed that some are sources of knowledge while others catch her attention for other reasons. Instead of the presence of her ex-boyfriend adding drama, I found Adrian quite entertaining. Now, David, her romance interest was a great guy and an absolute rock for everyone around him. He is an archaeologist and can get wrapped up in his work, but he has a lovely Scottish sense of humor and temperament. He is at the center of things without drawing attention to himself, and he doesn’t rush things or push Verity when she needs to make up her own mind about things.
I had my suspicions about matters when it came to the mystery, and I was right, but there were some unexpected twists that led to the exciting climax scene. The psychic and paranormal elements were a nice touch that gave this story a bit of extra magic without overtaking the story itself.
This was my first encounter with audio narrator, Sally Armstrong. Loved her Scottish, Irish, and English accents along with her command of this large cast of characters. She had a good sense of the author’s writing and the tone of the story.
All in all, The Shadowy Horses was fantastic. Those who enjoy a lighter romantic suspense with engaging characters and an intriguing, atmospheric setting should give this one a try.
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I picked this up when it went on sale for Kindle, based on Kearsley’s name alone. I had no idea it dealt with the missing Legion! It sounds like I really need to bump this up in my “older books” TBR queue. Good review; you’ve made me even more interested in reading this book!
Hey hey! Always good news when an interesting book is already on the pile. 🙂
this too has been on my radar a really long time, it’s great to hear you loved it so much Sophia, I love the sound of the town and the fact that it has a setting in Scotland makes me happy
So hard to get to every book that sounds good, right Lily?
Yes, the Scottish fishing village setting was great.
This definitely sounds intriguing, and you sold me with the paranormal elements mention. I will have to give this a try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sophia Rose 😀
Oh yes, the Roman ghost and the little psychic boy are a nice little add in to an already good story. Hope you like it when you get the chance, Michele.
This sounds like a great read, Sophie. I’ve not read Kearsley before or listened to Sally Armstrong. But if you approve of her accents, I think I’ll give this a listen. I like the setup and premise and I’m curious about the dig, the mystery, and of course, the romance. 😉 Lovely review!
I think you’re in for a pleasant time, Brandee. Kearsley’s writing and Sally’s storytelling are an audio book gem. 🙂 Hope you get the chance soon.
The Bibliophile Babe
I love when a narrator takes care of accents!
Same here. I can be easy going if they don’t get it exactly right, but it’s so distracting if they are too far off.
This sounds pretty good and I sure do love an atmospheric setting!
This little fishing village in the Scottish borderlands will be right up your alley then, Angel. 🙂
This book sounds irresistible! I love the ghost, the setting and the archaeology angle. Will definitely have to look for this on audio!
Such a temptation with all three of those elements, right Katherine? 🙂
Melissa (Books and Things)
I enjoy this author’s writing and I so need to read more of her work. This one is going on my wishlist if it isn’t there already. Yea, I’m organized like that. 😀
Buaha- erm, no shouldn’t laugh since that is sooo me, too. I can’t tell you how many times I already have the book that I’m getting all excited about from someone’s review or chat-up.
Yay, fellow fangirls!
This sounds interesting, I might put it on my list. 🙂
Yes, these are lovely rom suspenses. Hope you get the chance!
I have been meaning to try this author forever. I think I even have one of her books. Anyway, This one sounds terrific. I will have to give it a try. Thanks, Sophia Rose.
Oh good! I hope you try one soon, Heidi. I’m loving these.
I haven’t read anything by this author before. But this book sounds great and very mysterious. How awesome that the narrators accents where so good. I love it when an narrator is able to change accents and voices so easily.
Glad to introduce you to a new to you author, Maureen. 🙂 Yes, it has a lovely mysterious tone to it.
I agree that it’s neat to find a narrator who does accents well.
Loving the cover of what sounds like a book I’d enjoy … only in print instead of audio.
Thanks for a great review Sophia Rose
I love the Sourcebooks covers for this author’s books, too, Tracy. Yes, hope you can give the story a chance and I’m sure the print edition is already out.
Fantastic Review! I agree that a great narrator can make or break our perception of an audiobook.
Yes, exactly, Ethan. I’m not real picky about narrators, but even then there are a few that I thought a bad match for the book just like there are so many that make a book absolutely shine.
Great review, Sophia. This is a new to me author but the story sounds quite intriguing.
I read one of Stephanie’s reviews a couple years ago and decided that I had to give Susanna Kearsley a go. So glad I did.
Oh Great review, great shout out to Sophia Rose too!
Hey, surprise, Debbie my friend! 🙂 I get around.
Sophia, I own this and a few other titles by her, but have yet to crack them open.
You’re in for a treat. I promise. 🙂
I love this author! I’ve read two of her books and couldn’t get enough of them. I have yet to read this one but I do have it on my kindle. Glad to hear it is a good one.
This was my third book from her list and I just read a fourth. I can’t believe I waited so long to try her stuff. Hope you enjoy this one when you get the chance, Kindlemom!
Ohh, I love Suspense with Romance! Haven’t read from the author before but I think this one is going to be my first 🙂
Worth it, Vanessa! I’m a late comer to her books, too.
This sounds like my kind of suspense because it has a teeny tiny touch of paranormal and you said it was good for noobies to suspense like me. I liked that the old boyfriend and the new boyfriend didn’t get in the way of the story either. Awesome review, Sophia!!! Man, my reviews suck compared to your writing 🙁 I’ve got to up my game!!! 😀
Your reviews are just as tempting, lady. I blame you for a couple books that put a dent in my book budget. 🙂
Oh yes, this one would be a fantastic choice if you’re just dipping your toe into suspense and yes, just a bit of paranormal spice to make it interesting. The ex and the new guy thing had me nervous at first b/c I’m not a triangle trope type, but it was not really a factor in the romance.
Sharon - Obsession with Books
This author is new to me but I do like the sound of this book! The mystery, characters and setting all sound like the were written well.
A lovely review! Sharon – Obsession with Books
I’m tickled to introduce you to a new to you author, Sharon. 🙂
Geybie's Book Blog
I’ve never read any of this author’s books before. I love reading reviews from the authors that are new to me, just in case I find a ‘new gold’, and I’m in the mood for paranormal romance… so… I think I need to stalk this author (Her books I mean). 😉
Haha! Yes, stalk away, Geybie. I am the same way. Love hunting down new books to adore.
So it does have a touch of paranormal? I haven’t read any of her books, but it does sound pretty good. I’m wondering if it’s in the same category as the Graveyard Queen series.
Yes, but I think it is a lot milder than what you get in the Graveyard Queen series. I think GQ goes darker while this one it’s a soft touch. Hope that helps, Christy.
I have not read anything by her for some time, but I like how she weaves things together
Yes, she has a gift for how her stories piece together. I’m slowly working through her backlist and newer releases.