Five-year-old Jimmy Higgins is brazenly snatched from the middle of a busy airport; but this is no ordinary kidnapping. Jimmy's mother is Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer, entrusted the boy to her friend Stephanie Harker. Now Stephanie, reaching into the past to discover the motive behind the abduction, soon encounters a shocking tale of murder and conspiracy, and is faced by the most difficult choice of her life.
©2012 Val McDermid (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
I am a huge fan of Val McDermid and have every audiobook of hers I can get. I am normally totally gripped and resent having to stop listening. This book however is the total opposite. It is incredibly long winded, moving very slowly indeed. Very difficult to get really engaged into it as a result. The plot rather than feeling gripping, just feels quite childish most of the time, as if little real thinking has gone into it, and as for the climax, well it is just ludicrous. A real disappointment and just completely unexpected from this author - feels to me like it was written by someone different.
The story line, based on the relationship between a ghost writer, Stephanie, and her reality TV celebrity, Scarlett, is tedious beyond belief. The lengthy study of their growing friendship made me want to give up listening many times, especially as the narrator used the Australian rising inflection in her voice so frequently it became like listening to finger nails scraping on a chalk board. The thriller part of the book is hidden inside the main storyline and, although I persevered, its culmination is not worth waiting for. It seemed to me the author got fed up with it and, like a primary school child's story, decided that it would be better to end it with, "and then she died!". Don't bother!
This had a really gripping start, but then the pace slowed so much that the story lost its edge. Too much detail of the back story told in a rather laborious way, even though it was supposed to be an interrogation into a kidnapping. The ending was a bit ridiculous.
I have only reached chapter 9 but felt compelled to write a review, I love it, a new style for Val McDermid but great listening. The humour has had my husband enquiring why I am laughing out loud while cooking sunday lunch... more please Val. I love "Tony Hill" but love this too. A GREAT LISTEN
Found it really hard to get into this book. The book moves from present to past and then pops back to the present now and then. I did not "bond" with the main characters and felt frustrated in not getting on with the search for the boy who had been kidnapped in the first chapter. I persisted for a few chapters but then gave up when I got bored with the background story to the kidnap. I may have been wrong to give up so soon, perhaps it gets better as it progresses......
Already a Val McDermid fan this book did not disappoint. A stand alone novel (not part of the Tony Hill series ) it kept me listening late into the night. A captivating thriller with great characters I thoroughly enjoyed this story and did not see the twist at the end coming. Antonia Beamish does a great job as the reader. Highly recommended
Haven't "done" Val McDermid before, thoroughly believable story and characters, I was gripped from the start... to the finish. Definately need to try more of Val's work.
Not sure what has happened to Val McDermid. I have always loved her books. I positively devoured the Tony Hill books and A place of Execution stands as one of my all time favourite reads but her last two books have just lost the power of her previous work. The characters in this one have no depth and the story is dull and predictable. I have gone from waiting impatiently for her next book to wondering if I will bother. Sad.
I heard Val read the first chapter at a book festival and had to get the download to see what happened. I thought this was vintage McDermid with well drawn characters, a really good plot, and little gore. Thus when the 'little' gore did come, it was a real shock. I heard that bit as I was eating my brekkers!.
It did lean heavily on the story of a a reality TV 'star' and paralleled a situation that the reader will be aware of in real life.I thought that was a weakness.
The reader made many gaffs; she needed to do more preparation before she it aloud! Bert who? for example. I felt that she was sometimes just reading the words and her mind was somewhere else.
Still enjoyed it though.
It's a bit of a challenge fairly rating a book that is fantastic nearly all the way through, but right at the end the writer drops the bundle and delivers a truly silly finale. My overall feeling about it is 'extremely enjoyable book.... but....'. The narration is brilliant. I'll be looking out for this narrator in the future. She's up there with the best and springs the characters into vibrant life. Writing wise, full points to Val McDermid for a wonderfully lively book that is very different from any other of her books. It isn't a crime novel, instead she focuses on the world of reality tv. It isn't a book with a lot of tension, but it's very enjoyable. Thoroughly worth hearing, but unfortunately let down by the implausible end which sounded like the writer ran out of time or ideas for finishing the book.
The books had a few unexpected twists and turns and I was keen to continue listening to see what was going to happen next.
The book was too long to listen to in one sitting - I did not realise at the time of purchase that it was unabridged so quite a long story. I did find some of the lengthy descriptions a little bit tiresome at times - I just didn't need all that extra information, and wanted to get on with the story! But I guess it did add to the visual picture you could form.
This is the first audio book I have listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and am keen to listen to my next one!
Great story with a twist at the end! Good narration, not easy with so many different accents.
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