"What a gripping tale."
I have never come across Stephen Leather's books before, but if this is indicative of the standard of his stories, I will be looking for more in the future. I was so gripped by the tension of Jack Nightingale being surrounded by death and mayhem as he tries to find out the truth about his birth and the fate that awaits him on his 33rd birthday that I stayed awake half the night listening, because I just had to know what happened next. It is a long book, but my attention never wavered, which is rare. I recommend this as a jolly good 'read' to anyone who enjoys thrillers. A beautiful reading job by Paul Thornley, whose voice was perfect for the character, was the icing on the cake.
"A change of direction but a gripping story."
Despite being in my 60s, I am a great Artemis Fowl (AF) fan and, since Eoin Colfer was not going to write any more stories in that series, I was very interested to see how this new book developed. WARP is a very different type of story from AF (no elves, goblins etc), yet still has the flights of fancy, and attention to detail, that made those books so enjoyable.
A time wormhole enables the FBI, through the use of a key set to a particular historical date, to provide the ultimate safe house for witnesses who might otherwise be assassinated before they could give evidence. A young FBI cadet is forced, by circumstances, to pass through the wormhole to the Victorian period, where she meets a young lad who is an orphan being trained up by a stage magician who also happens to be a thoroughly unpleasant, ruthless, professional assassin. The two form an unlikely partnership as they go on the run from the assassin, who is determined to get the time key and travel to the future and back, enabling him to take advantage of future developements centuries before they should occur. An FBI witness who has been marooned in the past and who has been exploiting his own knowledge to attain wealth and status in the Victorian era, also threatens the young pair.
I listened to the whole book over a weekend, whilst gardening, and throughly enjoyed it. The good news is that the ending was constructed in such a way that there could be more stories.Maxwell Caulfied did a superb job of bringing the characters to life and added enormously to my enjoyment of the book. I hope he will be kept as the reader for future books. I thoroughly recommend WARP as an entertaining read.
"An excellent story that crosses the centuries"
I don't normally get on with stories where two plot threads are run parallel, across different centuries, but The Lazarus Vault has managed to hold my attention to such an extent that I have listened to it for hours at a time. I would advise anyone buying this book to try and listen for long periods, if they can, rather than dipping in and out. That way, the story and the atmosphere really catch the listener and draw him/her in and the characters come to life.
Francis Greenslade did a competent job of reading the book, but I have to admit that his accent and the nasal quality of his voice did grate on me at times, though never enough to make me stop listening.
In this story you have two relics, attributed with special powers - are they the holy grail and the spear that pierced Christ's side at the crucifixion or just items that have garnered that reputation over the centuries? Does it really matter, as surely they are as magical or holy as people believe them to be? Certainly, countless lives are lost, over the centuries, as rival factions try to acquire them, more often by foul means than fair. As with all such stories, it is necessary,at times, to suspend one's critical faculties and to just go with the flow, but the tales of Ellie in the 21st century and Cretienne, in the 12th century, both of whose lives are irrevocably changed by their connection to these antiquities, run harmoniously parallel. I heartily recommend this audio book to you.
"Superb Harry Dresden book"
I suspect that Harry Dresden books are like Marmite - you either love them or hate them. I love them and have spent years complaining that whilst Audible USA had these books, we in the UK did not. At last they are here.
Harry Dresden is a modern-day wizard in Chicago, grappling with the proclivity of 21st century equipment (computers et al) to go into melt down when he is near. He has all the modern problems of paying his rent and taxes, but with the added layer of having to deal with the politics of the White Council of wizards ( he is too anarchic to ever fit in there), fight the vampire courts and deal with the odd demon. If you like this type of fantasy book, you will love the Dresden series.
In this book, Harry duels with a vampire committed to killing him ( even if it means cheating); searching for the stolen Shroud of Turin (before it falls into the wrong hands); being a target for his own side ( if his death prevents a war with the vampires, goodbye Harry); and many more complex threads. All dealt with by a Harry who gets very battered at times, but never loses his wry ( though at times, tired) wit.
There are many other characters in this book - Susan ( Harry's former love); Bob ( the spirit of a very experienced wizard, trapped by curse to inhabit a skull for eternity) who assists Harry with his knowledge; Murphy ( a Police Officer who does not want to believe in magic and ghosts and other horrors, but having known Harry for some time, knows what she has seen); and so on.
I really cannot recommend this book, and all of the others in the Harry Dresden series, too highly if you like this genre.
This latest collection of Rumpole stories does not disappoint. As wide ranging as ever in the happenstances experienced by Rumpole and Hilda (aka "She Who Must Be Obeyed"), the stories are beautifully read by Bill Wallis, who really brings the characters to life. A throughly enjoyable listen. I heartily recommend this book to all who enjoy Rumpole at his best.
"A bite in the tale."
I am a great Stephen Leather fan and have thoroughly enjoyed his Dan Shepherd and Jack Nightingale stories in particular. This book is rather different to his usual genre, being based on a very clever twist as to how genetically unusual individuals have, over the centuries, become the basis for the mythical creatures called vampires. They still exist in the modern world, but are hunted by the government, who want to take them apart, mentally and physically, in order to understand the genetic reasons for their longevity. This sounds dull, but the story is far from that. It is a gripping story of the developing relationship between a psychologist, employed by the Police Dept. to profile criminals who allege they are insane and a beautiful young woman, who turns out to be one of these genetically mutant individuals. It had me utterly gripped and the ending was the real bite in the tale. Not at all what I expected. An excellent and entertaining download. I heartily recommend it to you.
I have enjoyed Rob Lowe's work as an actor and so was really interested to hear about his early, loving but rather dysfunctional, family life. Once he was moved to California as a young teen, he was left to run wild, but even then, he was hugely ambitious and once he got a foot in the acting door, more than held his own against the likes of a young Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Matt Damon and others. However, what has been particularly fascinating has been his insights into the work of an adult actor, developing a career, coping with the rarefied atmosphere of Hollywood and being successful on the silver screen whilst still maintaining your sanity and a home life. There is nothing of the "lovey" about Rob Lowe. He reads this book very matter of factly and seasons it, very entertainingly, with name dropping anecdotes. If you are interested in him, or in the life of a screen actor, you will enjoy this book.
"Classic James Bond"
This is James Bond at his best. Jeffrey Deaver wears Ian Fleming's shoes very comfortably and has produced a Bond story in the classic style. Lots of interweaving plots that hold you until the end. A long book, but my attention did not waiver. I was not expecting much of Toby Stevens as the narrator, but he was brilliant. He donned the accents of the different characters effortlessly and brought them to life. He was a major reason why the story gripped me from start to finish. I thoroughly recommend this as a really entertaining listen.
"Another gripping tale."
Dan Shepherd, SOCA cop, has appeared in several Stephen Leather books now and the character is becoming fully fleshed out, with his own moral standards and approaches to the villains he encounters. This story contains a couple of extra strands, one of which is that of Shepherd's own family coming under threat from the Father of a boy at his son's school. Despite being SOCA, Shepherd cannot get the authorities to help him, so has to resort to his own, very clever, solution to the problem. However, the end of the book leaves the listener in no doubt that stepping outside the lines can come back to haunt you.
Another gripping Stephen Leather book. I could not stop listening to it because I needed to know what happended next. Paul Thornley adds so much with his brilliant narration, really bringing the characters to life. A highly recommended download.
"Clever plot twists kept me entertained."
I really enjoyed this book. At first, I did not think it would keep me interested, but the plot developed fast, with constant twists and turns to a final climax that pulled all the loose ends together. Very well written and read.
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