Winter's War is the first full length Guy Winter mystery. It is set in England in the Second World War at the time of the Battle of Britain and the start of the London Blitz.
August 1940 - Chief Inspector Guy Winter has been Fleet Street's favorite detective for over a decade. Dubbed the "Mystery Man" by his friends and enemies alike, for all his fame he cuts a lonely figure at Scotland Yard, where every newspaper story is fresh grist to an already tired mill. Laid low by personal tragedy, there are many who suspect that the great detective's career is over.
Guy Winter, still in mourning the death of his wife in a tragic traffic accident the year before is summoned back to Scotland Yard to hunt for a psychopathic killer who is retracing Jack the Ripper's 52-year-old bloody trail of terror through London's East End.
Evil stalks the London blackout at the height of the Battle of Britain as a madman sets out to sow panic in the streets. But nothing is quite what it seems. As the threat of invasion looms ever larger and great aerial dogfights rage in the skies over southern England, as air raid sirens wail in the night, searchlights play across the face of the heavens and the first bombs fall, old scores are being settled and we discover that Guy Winter has been living a double life more mysterious than anybody ever suspected.
Now that double life has returned to haunt him. Now he no longer knows whom to call friend or foe.
©2014 James P. Coldham (P)2016 James P. Coldham
I enjoy audiobooks set in London during world war 2. This is a very good example.
Excellent storyline with lots of twists the occasional cad and steamy love and crime under the cover of the blackout.
Good narration is at least half of a good audiobook. Melanie Philips does an excellent job in Winters War bringing the contrasts of a chaotic wartime to London to life. In the future I will take a gamble on new books simply because she is the narrator.
Ok I am off to download the rest in the series.
Please note that this audiobook was reviewed through the Good Reads reviewer programme.
The premise of the story i.e. a Jack the Ripper inspired murder mystery set in London during the blitz, really appealed to me. The element of espionage added a layer of complexity and mystery to the story. The story line was very intriguing and the mystery had me hooked while twists and turns kept me guessing. There were plenty of suspects and conspiracy theories as Guy Winters discovered who his friends and enemies really were. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
I liked Guy Winters; a complex and clever, albeit flawed, character with a skewed moral compass. There is never a dull moment as he flits from one woman to the next while investigating a string of gruesome murders.
I also liked Sergeant George Ransom who made a very likeable sidekick.
As always Melanie Fraser gives a flawless performance and The Guy Winters series is now one of my favourites. Her accent lends itself very well to the time period and the upper class characters portrayed in the novel. Their old fashioned phrases were in tune with the era and because Melanie voiced them with her RP accent I really felt like I was transported back in time.
I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.
"Well scripted and thoroughly enjoyable"
I would have to read the print version which I would like to do
I liked the style of writing; the author reminds me of Elizabeth George and PD James, etc.
I quite enjoyed the developing relationship between Winter and Ransom as they learn to work together and trust each other
I enjoyed this enough that I would pick up more in the series
"An Action-Packed Mystery Thriller"
Winter's War was a good story. The author paid great attention to detail but I had a hard time following along. It may have had too many small details for me to keep up with the larger picture. I think it was more drama than anything. It was good yet overwhelming.
Melanie Fraser's narration was brilliant. She speaks impeccably and I love her voice. She's proven to be an amazing voice actor no matter what she applies herself to.
Overall, this was a decent audiobook. Maybe too much for me but I think James Philip is a wonderful author doing wonderful things.
"Good start, but disappointed with the plot"
After listening to the prequel, I had high expectations to this novel. I was somehow disappointed with long boring passages and the actual plot. The story jumps around from character to character and it's not easy to figure out who is who. I think listening to the prologue - Winter's Pearl - before this one, helped a great deal, but for those who hasn't, it can be quite confusing.
The book also contains long boring passages, where I thought 'please, move on!' However, I'm sure many would enjoy it anyway and it could just be my personal preference. The book is well-written, but I was annoyed with the plot, where the author wanted to show us a Jack the Ripper copycat - been there, done that. Why not have given us a different story? I felt the author wanted to tell the actual Jack the Ripper story, just set in another time. I didn't really get attached to any of the characters either.
Melanie Fraser narrated this story very authentic and she has become one of my favorite British narrators. A wonderful and clear British voice will get you through this story and she was the reason I kept listening. The story came to life in an oll' times British environment, as we all know when we watch British period dramas.
*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.
"A Crime, a Plot, and a War"
Winter's War is the first full novel in James Philip's Guy Winter series. If you’ve read the previous novella, Winter's Pearl, some of the seeds that were planted there start to sprout. You need not worry if you haven’t read Winter's Pearl, because the roots beneath those sprouts are clearly visible. The story continues while the Battle of Britain rages but before the onslaught of the Blitz. This provides the backdrop for the hunt for a serial killer while offering insight into the workings of British Intelligence as it tries to manage its expanding role. James Philip's characters tend to provide us with a view of the war as seen from the elevated heights of the British aristocracy. Your belonging to the right club is just as important as holding your commission in the right regiment. Philip also exposes, through this cast of characters, the underside of this venerated class. A crime, a plot, and a war; all skillfully put together by the author.
I received this as a free Audible download in return for an honest review. The narrator, Melanie Fraser, was excellent. She very much added to my enjoyment of the novel.
"Historically pretty story, flat characters/story"
Winter's War is about British inspector Guy Winter who has been taxed to solve a serial killer crime. His personal tradgey is intermingled in the story, which makes for an interesting storyline, but the story is curiously flat.
I think I would have interspersed some more narrative in the story and distinguished the character voices more. I might also have included more inflection, or maybe music to make the story more dramatic.
I really liked the surprise ending.
Perhaps, if the story writing could be more lively.
I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
"Not too bad, but not great; narrator was good"
Note: In exchange for an unbiased review, the author, publisher, and/or narrator were kind enough to provide an audio version of this book at no charge via AudiobookBoom.
This was a decent enough book, but the writing style took a bit to get used to. It often felt like the narration jumped around or it was just assumed straightaway that the listener/reader would know who or what the characters were talking about. So it took me a while to piece together who was who and what was going on with regard to the spy ring. [SPOILER]Also, unless I missed something, the killer/killers of the women was never revealed, which was rather ... odd.[/SPOILER] And the ending felt very abrupt. All of a sudden it was just over, with a paltry "Epilogue" to tie some things up at the end in the form of a police report. The characters weren't hugely appealing, with the exception of Guy Winter's neighbor, who seemed like the only decent one of the bunch. Perhaps by the end, Winter himself turned out to be an alright guy, but the abrupt ending never revealed this to us for sure. Maybe in the next book we'll see a bit more of the new and improved Guy. The narrator did a great job (I just love English accents); it was a female narrating a book primarily from a man's perspective and she carried it off well, so she gets 4-5 stars. I was impressed. Overall, though, I'd have to give this a rating of about three stars for the reasons listed above. Still, it was a decent read and others may find it more enjoyable than I did in general.
"Enjoyable and atmospheric"
I liked this book, especially its atmospheric quality. It is dark and historical, with the main character trying to track down a Jack-the-Ripper copycat. It was interesting to see how prostitutes were used to gain secrets for the Intelligence. I read this book before reading the "Prologue" to the series, but I wish I had done it the other way around, as the prologue really sets the stage and gives more background to the important characters. I found it hard to really like the main character on all levels, which is probably why the book isn't rated higher, but the story is still very interesting and enjoyable. I listened to the Audible audio version of the book narrated by Melanie Fraser and I LOVED her narration. Her voice really adds to the atmosphere of the book, she does a great job of giving each character a unique voice, and she does both female and male voices well. I've listened to three books she has narrated and will definitely check out more that she's done. Overall, if you like highly atmospheric, WWII mystery/spy/espionage books, this is one to check out.
"History, Personal loss on Mystery Man's Shoulders"
Yes. I enjoy the historic era represented, the hard job Scotland Yard has. The relationship this listener quickly developed with Guy Winter and other characters in the story. This time around, Winter and the City of London are contending with the World War 2 Blitz, a latter day Jack the Ripper type serial killer, and Inspector Winter's wife has been killed in a terrible and suspicious automobile accident. "Winter's War" captures the frantic era early into World War Two. And does it well.
After listening to the short prologue to the series titled "Winter's Pearl" several months ago, I still feel this has a strong similarity to "Foyle's War", the very well done British detective series starring Michael Kitchen, and Honeysuckle Weeks. Realistic...
Melanie Fraser adds the atmosphere of England in this story, with her accent. She can carry off dialogue well, and the story narrative is eased along by her abilities to convey the feelings of the characters involved and the situation at hand.
Melanie is South African, though mostly trained and worked in the UK, to this untrained American ear, her British accents are well voiced.
I wish I could have done so. On the other hand, I enjoyed taking it in in shorter listens to be able to appreciate the written work as well as the voice talent.
This is a very good British detective series with big helpings of historical and social content from the era in which it takes place. Right up my alley!
This audiobook was provided by the narrator, at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you, Melanie Fraser!
"A fantastic launch to a series"
This is actually the second tale regarding Guy Winter. There is a short story prequel, but you can dive into this without having read it. Set in WWII Great Britain, this tale is a thrilling mystery with ties to the "Jack the Ripper" unsolved murders.
Winter is just coming out of the tragic loss of his wife (where he was a suspect) and has to fight against the upper chain of command and his own demons as he attempts to string together clues to a series of possible Ripper copycat killings.
The story does an excellent job of seeping you into the WWII era. I was not entirely happy with the epilogue giving a wrap of the story, but it did not detract to the point where I am not looking forward eagerly to the continuing adventures in the Guy Winter series.
Ms. Fraser is wonderful as always as the narrator of this series. She has a voice that pulls me into the actual feel of the story. I think I could listen to her read the dictionary and become engrossed.
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