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  • Just One Evil Act

  • By: Elizabeth George
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 28 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 80

Barbara Havers puts her career on the line while DI Thomas Lynley attempts to straighten her out before it's too late. When Hadiyyah Upman disappears from London in the company of her mother, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is as devastated as the girl's father. They are her close friends as well as neighbours, but since the child is with her mother, nothing can be done. Five months later, Hadiyyah is kidnapped from an open air market in Lucca, Italy, and this triggers an investigation in the full glare of the media spotlight.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Agreeing with other listeners.......

  • By barjil on 18-11-13

Beyond unbelieveable

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-04-14

Would you try another book written by Elizabeth George or narrated by Davina Porter?

I've read nearly all Elzabeth George's books, and think some of the earlier ones are excellent.

Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth George again?

I'd have to be persuaded.

Any additional comments?

The set-up for this series has always stretched credibility - the aristo Lynley, his odd best friends, and the stubbornly and increasingly caricatured working class lass, Barbara. The books in the series have often been excellent despite this, but this one stretches credibility just too far. Barbara's actions are improbable, Lynley's bizarre, and the idea that Barbara can charge round London (and Italy) on a private mission without her bosses intervening forcibly just doesn't hold water. Especially as she's not well liked, and has an enemy, who gets a rather odd come-uppance. This is, after all, set in the police force. I didn't enjoy the untranslated Italian, either. Disappointing.

  • Burial Rites

  • By: Hannah Kent
  • Narrated by: Morven Christie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 861
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Agnes - understanding the human being

  • By Kaggy on 27-06-14

A slow burner, but all the better for it

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Burial Rites to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but it made a good listen. The only drawback was trying to imagine how the Icelandic names and place-names look in print.

What other book might you compare Burial Rites to, and why?

Oddly, it's a bit like Wolf Hall. Shorter, less literary perhaps, but with the same strong characterisation based firmly in the historical context.

Any additional comments?

This is a terrific story, and the setting offers so many insights into the way that hard lives were lived in a frequently hostile environment. The tension builds slowly, until the final acts are almost unbearably sad. The development of the relationships between the convicted murderess and her 'hosts' is beautifully drawn. And the reading is great. Thanks.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Redemption of Alexander Seaton

  • By: S. G. MacLean
  • Narrated by: Crawford Logan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 424
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 336

Banff in the 1620s. A man staggering down the street. He appears drunk, but he's been poisoned. The victim, and apothecary's apprentice, is discovered dead in Alexander Seaton's house, a fallen minister whose life lies in tatters after his affair with the Laird's daughter is discovered and he is cast out of the kirk in disgrace. When his friend is accused of the apprentice's murder, Alexander sets out to solve the crime and clear his friend's name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, well read

  • By Rachel on 16-05-09

Great book, well read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-05-09

This is the first review I've written, of the most surprising audio book I've yet read. Surprising in many ways: in the quality of both the writing and the reading, both previously unknown to me; in the layer on layer of complexity in the story; and in the way that this is handled so beautifully by author and reader.

Set in 17th century Scotland, the story illustrates a contrast between narrow religious bigotry and a wide, stimulating world of new ideas and discoveries. The story none the less portrays religion as pervasive, and as a part of the texture of everyday life in this time and place, and the varieties of forms of belief are displayed in a way which made them both interesting and credible to this non-religious reader.

So far, this review makes the book sound solemn and overly serious. Not at all. It's a cracking story, multi-layered, with twists and turns which always spring directly from the plot, so they develop naturally from the story lines. Tolerance jostles intolerance, science confronts belief in witchcraft, and the outcomes are uncertain. This is not a book of easy answers, but a novel of interesting questions, and great fun.

The main character is himself complicated, a man deeply affected by a humiliating episode in his recent past, and by a turn of events in his life which has left him deeply confused and unsure of himself. At times pessimistic, but always stubbornly moving forwards none-the-less, Alexander Seaton travels uncertainly towards his redemption. The mystery at the heart of the story is progressively uncovered, as the supporting cast of characters are developed, and the parts they play, or have played in the commission and in the uncovering of crime are gradually revealed.

Great stuff. Highly recommended.

56 of 57 people found this review helpful