Duke of Depravity (Sins and Scoundrels Book 1)

Scarlett Scott
Narrator: Hugh Bradley


HISTORICAL:  During the war in Spain in 1812, Crispin Ashforth and his best friend, Morgan, are attacked by a Spanish mercenary named “The Dark Heart” — a man whose ruthless methods give Wellington a much-needed edge, but whom the English do not trust.  Upon his return to England Crispin is lauded as a hero. Instead, he feels like a fraud, and spends his days drinking, whoring, and trying to forget. Jacinda Turnbow has a brilliant mind and uses it to help her father decipher war codes, because his mental acumen is slipping. She soon discovers that Lord Killross controls their future, and he blackmails Jacinda into discrediting Crispin.

This audiobook is intriguing and the story holds the listener’s interest, with occasional stretches of slower pacing. Crispin is a very unlikeable character for much of this story.  He seems to have lost himself over his guilt at being unable to stop his friend’s death.  He lives a depraved life.  Jacinda is there to betray him, and as long as he behaves badly, she feels justified in her mission.  As she gets to know Crispin, and finds evidence that there are some redeeming qualities within him, she begins to doubt his guilt, which adds a layer of tension.  Nevertheless, the motivations for each main character are very clearly defined.

Hugh Bradley conveys this story effectively for the listener.  His voice is appropriate for the dialogue, and his characterizations are clear — his voice ranges from Spanish terrorist to young teen sisters to older English gentlemen, as well as servants of various stations.   He doesn’t try overly hard to sound feminine, which is good because that often comes across as false.  He conveys the elements of the story clearly, and without excess unexplained background noise.

Carey Sullivan