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Paul Speirs

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 12
  • ratings
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz

  • By: Heather Morris
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,724
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,320
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,309

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Claire on 21-02-18

If you are not moved by this...

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

Reviewed: 18-10-18

The emotions and feelings are captured magnificently. There is no need to say anything more.

  • Nightblind

  • Dark Iceland, Book 2
  • By: Ragnar Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 66

Ari Thor returns to investigate a chilling series of crimes that are rooted in tragic events from the past. Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Why change the narrator?

  • By James Woods on 21-03-16

Rambling

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-09-18

The deep impression of the place and characters you build in your mind that works so well in the first book is lost in the second because of the change in reader.
I thought this book had too many parallel threads that I guess are there to keep you guessing but ultimately left you wondering why they are there in the first place. To me it felt like the story and plots rambled along.
I wasn’t gripped.

Scaredy Cat cover art
  • Scaredy Cat

  • By: Mark Billingham
  • Narrated by: Christopher Kay
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 129

An enduring top-ten bestseller, and genuinely gripping novel in the spirit of Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George.... London-based detective Tom Thorne has his work cut out. The killer chose his target at Euston station, followed her and strangled her to death. The victim wasn't his first in North London, and Thorne realises the murders are happening simultaneously. This is not a serial killer Thorne is up against... this is two of them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Kirstine on 01-12-17

Hmm. Not sure

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-18

First up, the book itself is 17+ years old, so perhaps a bit dated - for context.
Not sure I get the persona of Thorne in these early instalments.
The story took a while to get going.
The narrator’s tone doesn’t feel right for a crime thriller and his regional accents were terrible - which made for hard listening.
Will jump to more recent books from now on.

  • The Darkest Day

  • Victor the Assassin, Book 5
  • By: Tom Wood
  • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 236

He is darkness. She wants him dead. In a city starved of light, she might just succeed. She moves like a shadow; she kills silently: Raven. This elegant assassin has been on the run for years. This time, though, she has picked the wrong target. The hitman known only as "Victor" is as paranoid as he is merciless and is no stranger to being hunted. He tracks his would-be killer across the globe, aiming not only to neutralise the threat but to discover who wants him dead.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Who is Victor?

  • By Paul Speirs on 11-05-17

Who is Victor?

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

Reviewed: 11-05-17

I've listened to all the books and enjoyed them all. This one, however, seemed too forced. The plot was thin, the coincidences and cliches too typical. The car chases and pursuits turned into sagas rather than page turners. I also lost focus on who Victor is. Whatever his moral compass, it seems wayward in this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Only Time Will Tell

  • Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Jeffrey Archer
  • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,344
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,346

The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war’. But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story-telling

  • By Kirstine on 16-06-11

It certainly draws you in

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

Reviewed: 10-02-17

At times predictable but the narration and characterisation is excellent and really does get you pulling for each one.

  • Berlin Red

  • Inspector Pekkala, Book 7
  • By: Sam Eastland
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

April 1945. East of Berlin the Red Army stands poised to unleash its final assault upon the ruined capital of Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich. To the north, at a lonely outpost near the Baltic Sea, German scientists perfect a guidance system for the mighty V2 rocket, which has already caused massive damage to the cities of London and Antwerp. This device, known only by the codename Diamondstream, will allow the rocket to arrive at its target with pinpoint accuracy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shame to end the series

  • By The Curator on 03-04-18

Too stuttery?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-09-16

I felt the story was too stuttery. Jumping between plot and past historical content, not all of which seemed necessary.
The narrators characterisation was good.
The lead character seemed peripheral at times and his investigative skills were not always that skilfully employed.
Ok, but not outstanding.

  • Skin and Bones

  • By: Tom Bale
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

On a cold January morning, a nightmare awaits in a small Sussex village. A deranged young man goes on the rampage, shooting everyone in his path before taking his own life. It is a senseless, tragic event, but sadly not an unfamiliar one. At least, that's what everyone thinks. Only Julia Trent - believed to be the sole survivor - knows there was a second man involved.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Fits & starts

  • By Paul Speirs on 12-08-16

Fits & starts

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

Reviewed: 12-08-16

The tempo kept getting stuck. Begins with a bang but ..... It dragged me to the end which I should say does have a final final endearing twist but much of the action seemed laboured in getting there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Time and Time Again

  • By: Ben Elton
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies
  • Length: 13 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646

It’s the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Time Travel Thriller I've Ever Read

  • By Gabriel on 23-11-14

Simply a must

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

Reviewed: 26-04-16

In another century our hero would have a different end. I'll look forward to that version!

  • Violets Are Blue

  • Alex Cross, Book 7
  • By: James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Paul Birchard
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

The seventh novel in the Alex Cross series. The Mastermind is back - and he's hot on detective Alex Cross's trail. His cold, taunting threats leave Alex angry and deeply concerned for his family's safety. Two joggers have been found dead in San Francisco - bitten and hung by their feet to drain the blood. Further murders in California, and then on the East Coast as well, completely baffle Alex and the FBI. Is this the work of a cult, or role players, or even of modern-day vampires?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good book

  • By Mr. Grahamdalton on 07-10-18

Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 30-07-15

Having read one Alex Cross book years ago I thought I'd give this a go. The plot lacked depth or any excitement. The two parallel stories were unrelated making it a disjointed book. The narrator's voice didn't work for me. Bland all round which is a shame as it means I probably won't be tempted to try another Alex Cross book.