From the best-selling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a ghost story, a psychological thriller and a tale of love rediscovered.
Elizabeth has been married to Michael for ten years. She has adjusted to a fairly monotonous routine with her wealthy, decent but boring husband. Part of this routine involves occasional visits to Beinn Caorrun, the dank and gloomy house in a Scottish glen that Michael inherited. There are memories there that Michael will not share with her.
But then Michael begins to change. It starts when he thinks he sees, in a picture, the figure of a girl on a landing. As he changes, life becomes so much more fun and Elizabeth sees glimpses of a man she can fall in love with at last. But who - or what - is changing Michael....
©2009 Paul Torday (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
A really unusual story - awful and terrible in the best possible way. Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King. Desperately sad slow revelations are overlaid with a sense of dread and gothic horror. Seems to revel in drawing painfully awkward. Irritating, dull characters thus enhancing contrast with the mysterious Mikey. A rare and unforgettable story.
I read this as a print book first and couldn't put it down. The people I was on holiday with thought I was very rude. This audiobook is excellent too. The story is gripping and the narration very good. It's quite spooky and disturbing.
How sad that Paul Torday died recently and not very old - I would have hoped for more books from him.
This was so good. A description of schizophrenia and its destruction of a personality plus a thriller which led to my listening in 2 days despite having to go to work. Strongly recommended
Rough cut, unrefined
Fully expected not to enjoy this book. It is peppered with man-splaining pompous gentlemen's club members and the social circles, wealth and mores described are completely out of my range of experience. Yet the skill of the author is such that all that stuff is unimportant and you find yourself connecting with the human element of the characters. It was mesmerising listening to Michael and Elizabeth's story unfold, with the constant menace of the paranormal (and/or insanity). I found myself identifying with many of their struggles and caring deeply about the outcome of increasingly menacing influences in their lives. What was particularly powerful for me was the complete absence of heavy handed tricks usually present in stories like this. The constant low-key sense of threat and turbulence beneath polite socially acceptable behaviour had a far bigger impact and I found myself quite tense and nervy as I listened to the story develop.
This was delightful. For the first half an hour I almost gave up but, the reading was so very good, I held my course. Loved it!
I wasn't sure what prompted me to choose this audiobook but I'm glad I did; it's completely unexpected. This book is incredibly difficult to review without giving anything away and spoiling the dark mystery that unravels as you listen. I found myself fluctuating between empathy and suspicion while throughout the book my mind was busy trying to work out the next step the characters might take while trying to unravel my own feelings and desires for the outcome. This is not a sedentary listen and kept me on edge with anticipation throughout.
An avid Audible listener for the past two years, it fits in superbly with my busy lifestyle. Love crime and historical novels most.
I trudged my way through this book willing it to get better and provide me with some pay back on the amount of time invested but sadly that didn't happen for me. Sorry!
I'm sure lots of other readers/listeners may have enjoyed it but I found the whole thing so fantastical and unlikely and, in the end, tedious.
The plot would have been good, if it had been condensed massively. As it stands, it's very very slow to get to the end, which you can see coming a mile away, and there are no surprises. Far too much irrelevant and uninteresting detail is repeated and revisited. Almost unbearable. I would have stopped if i didn't hate giving up on books.
Compared with all other audible books i've listened to, both performances seemed stilted and unenthusiastic. As though they found the book as dull as i did... Clare Wille was good at doing other characters (closely basing the protagonist's mother on Miranda's mother!)
I have abandoned one or two audiobooks early on. This one had enough momentum to get me hooked in, but then disappointed all the rest of the way through.
I liked how different the book was to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and different from other psychological thrillers that I've read. I also liked the way it ended, which I hadn't expected. I think it was original. I wouldn't compare it to another book.
Clare Wille had a lovely natural style. I think David Monteath's style may have felt a little unappealing because that was representing an aspect of the character of Michael. I found that when he needed a different voice (I'm trying not to give anything away!) that was done in a way that was compelling. I think both readers made the characters seem authentic.
It didn't make me laugh or cry but it drew me in.
I had to make a mental adjustment to a world of gentleman's clubs, dinner parties and hunting, shooting, fishing on country estates. I think this was meant to be simply the setting, rather than the rarefied lifestyle being a theme. It's so alien to me that I found it distracting in a contemporary book.
I thought the main theme was very interesting but it was close to being overdone. There was a risk of the book sinking into polemic. The sub-theme of race was repetitive, said little and quickly became tiresome. I would have given this five stars if it wasn't for the tendency towards tub-thumping.
Fascinating & chilling dip into a dark primeval world. Loved the suspense & plausibility. Excellent narration, research & the tension built up to the last chapter.
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