I can only agree with all other 5* reviewers. A beautifully told story, with engaging characters and a fascinating historical background.
- And much enhanced, too, by Dan Stevens' excellent reading.
An absolute treat.
"Perhaps not quite the best in the series"
While this is not the best in the series, I still enjoyed it very much. In some ways, the murders and crime investigation are subservient to the ongoing Serraillier family saga but that perhaps doesn't matter as the characters are well drawn, continue to develop and hold the attention - although Simon deserves somebody better than the boring Rachel.
What makes this so particularly enjoyable, however, is the quite excellent narration by Steven Pacey. He differentiates each character expertly, gives the narrative proper pace and makes the whole listening experience a real pleasure. Congratulations to him - and I look forward to the next in the series!
"Not bad - but not the best"
For me, the book misses that extra something which Dick Francis injected into his stories. It never quite 'takes off' for me. The cancer sub-plot is a little too mawkish and most of the characters lacked any real depth. However, I did enjoy it overall.
Having said that, this is by Felix - and I hope his next book is marketed as his own work and not as anything to do with his father.
I would half agree about the narrator: his attempts at various accents is not the most convincing.
While listening to 'The Greening of Mrs Donaldson' walking down the road, I almost fell off the pavement I was laughing so much - and I certainly got some strange looks.
Such good entertainment - a lovely pair of unlikely stories, superb narration (as one always expects from Mr Bennett), great characters. My only regret is that there were only two of them!
"Up to the usual standard"
It's extraordinary how Michael Connelly keeps up such a high standard. This Harry Bosch story is just as good as the others, with the usual twists and turns. The ending is rather downbeat - but this is a small complaint, set against the tight plotting and gritty realism of the rest of the book. Is Harry approaching the end of his career? Let's hope not.
It is well read - although there are a number of short and entirely superfluous musical interludes which do nothing of any value.
"Not quite worth five stars"
A taut and pacy thriller, well up there with the others in the series. Excellent cast of familar characters, with all their faults and foibles, Putting Helen Weeks together with Thorne works superbly - and one hopes this is only the first of a series featuring them together (the ending seems to hint at this being on the cards).
Four stars only, however, for two reasons: first, the story unfolds in 'real time' and, while this is an interesting twist and different from earlier Thorne novels, from time to time it feels to me as if the plot has been a little forced to fit this format. Secondly (and sadly) I have to say that I think the author is not the best reader in the world . . . in particular, his interpretation of Thorne himself jars with my picture of him - but perhaps that's just one of those things.
"Not his best"
I have enjoyed all his books but I think Peter James has lost his way with this one.
Without giving away any details, the central theme is far-fetched and there are a number of plot details which lead nowhere in particular. The American 'episode' is unnecessary and also unbelievable (a single woman going to visit the mafia on her own? - surely not!) The ending is also rather obvious and unlikely and I am beginning to get rather bored with the stereotyped characters who never seem to move on. One gets the feeling that Peter James churned this one out without much care or attention.
It is, however, very well read!
This is not the sort of book I usually listen to. However, I was impressed by the reviews both here and on Amazon - and I am glad I took the chance. Although the details of Eve's life are explicit and fairly distasteful, I found this did not detract too much from an engrossing story, well told and much enhanced by the excellent reader.
"Is it a man's book?"
I enjoyed the first part of this book very much. However, sadly, this enjoyment did not last as I found the flashback stories of both main characters rather long-winded and slightly irritating - a good editor would have helped.
While the two main characters (Clayton and Alice) are fairly believable and likeable, 'George' is far too stereotyped and unlikely. Also, the story of Alice's family really does stretch credibility to the limit.
Having said all that, the story moves along at a good pace and, although two or three times I felt like giving up on it, eventually I listened to the end - hence the three stars. Incidentally, I found the narrator very good throughout.
But I do think it is probably a book that women would enjoy more.
It is, of course, the novel of a master. But, more than this, as other reviewers have already said, Jeremy Irons' reading is almost completely perfect. Obviously he knows the story intimately from acting in the television series but he adds so much in his interpretation of both the events and the main protagonists. His reading of the death of one of the main characters towards the end of the book is almost unbearably moving and poignant.
I can only say that, if you only ever buy one audio book, this should be the one, without a shadow of a doubt.
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