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The Confession of Brother Haluin
By Ellis Peters
Read by Stephen Throne

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The Confession of Brother Haluin

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The Confession of Brother Haluin
The Fifteenth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
By Ellis Peters
Read by Stephen Throne
The Audio Partners Publishing Corp., (2002)
A Complete and Unabridged Audio Recording on 5 Cassettes
ISBN: 1-57270-257-5
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 7, 2002

Thinking he is going to die, Brother Haluin makes his deathbed confession, revealing the horrific sins that he had committed, one of which resulted in the death of his lover, Bertrade de Clary. Haluin's sins come back to haunt him when he doesn't die. His sins, however, have been freed from the confines of his mind and they now haunt not only Haluin, but also Brother Cadfael and Abbot Radulfus, who were unfortunate enough to have heard his confession.

After recovering from his sickbed, Haluin, despite being crippled from the accident that almost killed him, sets out on a journey to set things to right and expiate his sin. He is accompanied on his journey by Brother Cadfael, a fellow monk at the abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Shrewsbury, England. A skilled herbalist and healer, Cadfael is also an ex-crusader and man of the world. His religious vocation, combined with his previous experiences and healing skills, made Cadfael an ideal companion to accompany the not yet fully recovered, and crippled, Brother Haluin on his journey.

This story is set in the year 1143. A time when England was in chaos due to the civil war being fought between King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Maud, who both claimed to be the rightful ruler of the kingdom. It is into this chaos that Cadfael and Haluin enter when they leave the confines of the abbey. Their journey turns out to be more difficult than either man could imagine... and the ending a true surprise for participants and readers alike.

The Confession of Brother Haluin is Ellis Peters fifteenth Brother Cadfael story, and like it predecessors it is rich in historic detail and engaging and often eccentric characters. And, like many of the other books in this series, you will find it peopled with long time friends and acquaintances, such as Hugh Beringar, the shire's sheriff, and of course, Brother Cadfael. A cross between Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple, Cadfael is a superb detective. His skills of observation are keen, and his understanding of the avarice nature of man is profound. He is at one with his world, and his time, making him a compelling and sympathetic character. And through Peters' writing, Cadfael comes forcefully to life, transporting you back to Cadfael's world and enabling you to experience the rich tapestry that made up life in 12th century medieval England.

This audio edition The Confession of Brother Haluin is expertly read by Stephen Thorne. A Shakespearean actor, Thorne has also appeared in over 2,000 BBC television shows. Tinged with just a touch of a British accent, his reading of this story is eloquent and vibrant. In short, he effortlessly brings the medieval world, and the people, surrounding Brother Cadfael to life.

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