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Janet

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 32
  • ratings
  • Dissolution

  • Shardlake, Book 1
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,009
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,008

It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. And under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Time Travellers Beware.....

  • By Hannah on 01-12-14

Intrigue in the monastery

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

Reviewed: 19-11-18

A well-written murder mystery, within the cold, forbidding atmosphere of a medieval monastery. Shardlake is a sympathetic character, who is kind to the vulnerable where possible but ultimately persevering in his duty. The story weaves its way amongst mad monks, dead bodies, embezzlement, lust and torture, peppered with lots of historical detail. A medieval feast.

  • The Absolutist

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Michael Maloney
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153

September 1919: 21-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver some letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian’s brother Will during the Great War, but in 1917 Will laid down his guns on the battlefield, declared himself a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family. But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan’s visit. He holds a secret deep in his soul. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and deeply touching

  • By Edward Phillips on 13-01-15

Intolerable, unfair, unjust, bloody, muddy etc etc

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

Reviewed: 18-10-18

There are so many adjectives that come to mind when reflecting back on this book. Set in the First World War when fixed attitudes were handed down by our "betters" and a man was on Earth to do his duty, the story made me seethe with suppressed anger at times. I never lost my sympathy for the main character despite his cowardice (perhaps because he was the narrator). I am left with pointless, useless sorrow once again for the loss of so many young boys.

  • Rivers of London

  • Rivers of London, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,348
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,047
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,037

My name is Peter Grant and until January, I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant original story great narrator

  • By valb on 05-08-11

Offbeat crime/ghost story

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I was glad that I tried this book despite being a bit doubtful about whether I could find the inclusion of ghosts and spirits palatable. However the characters had down to earth names and behaviours and there was no trace of the winsome fancy of the fantasy genre. This is predominantly a crime novel and the narrator does a superb job of conjuring up the atmosphere and attitudes of a present-day policeman. I enjoyed the book as an example of something different, but I'm not desperate to read another. Maybe, in a few books time.

  • Old Filth

  • By: Jane Gardam
  • Narrated by: Bill Wallace
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan - one of the many young children sent 'home' from the East to be fostered and educated in England. Jane Gardam's novel tells his story, from his birth in what was then Malaya to the extremities of his old age. In so doing, she not only encapsulates a whole period from the glory days of British Empire, through the Second World War, to the present and beyond, but also illuminates the complexities of the character known variously as Eddie, the Judge, Fevvers, Filth, Master of the Inner Temple, Teddy and Sir Edward Feathers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely Tale of an Interesting Life

  • By mollyeyre on 10-02-18

Very enjoyable reminiscences and life story

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

Reviewed: 24-01-18

Bill Wallace does an excellent job of portraying Old Filth and revealing his past life. A story gently told despite the terrible events of Feathers' young life. Events unravel in a subtle, gradual way and you can feel desperately sorry for the young boy while at the same time understanding Old Filth's lack of emotion in the living of his later life, and the telling of it. I felt quite close to Teddy in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,256
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,113
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,113

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal

  • By Kerri on 19-02-17

So glad I did not give up on this book

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

Reviewed: 20-11-17

After a compelling start with the dramatic beginning of Catherine Goggin's life, the story took an unexpected turn with Cyril's childhood and teenage years. I had doubts about continuing to listen during the accounts of Cyril's teenage years as being female and heterosexual I struggled to empathise with his feelings, experiences and lifestyle. So glad I continued to listen. It is the flaws in his character (and in everyone's) that make the storyline (and life) so interesting.
As the chapters passed I became more and more engaged and sympathetic, and felt that I was learning life's lessons with Cyril, through Cyril's experiences.
This book was satisfying on so many levels - the characters, their stories, the passages of suspense (which occurred right through to the end), the social changes over a lifetime, and the acceptance that life is what it is and we endure it and make the most of it until the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Wire in the Blood

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 692

Young girls are disappearing around the country, and there is nothing to connect them to one another. Dr Tony Hill sets his team an exercise: they are given the details and asked to discover links between the cases. Only one officer comes up with a theory that is ridiculed...until one of their own is murdered. For Tony Hill the murder becomes a matter for personal revenge, and, joined by colleague Carol Jordan, he embarks on a game where hunter and hunted can all too easily be reversed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wire in the Blood

  • By Rachel on 03-11-15

Great characters and an entertaining story

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

Reviewed: 08-10-17

An enjoyable listen. Although there is quite a cast of characters, I never found them confusing. They are always unique and well drawn. The storyline has varied pace, is sometimes interrupted or diverted, but is easy to follow even when I come back to the plot after a few days.
My only criticism is the narrator's rendition of female characters, for whom he always gives a softness which I find often unwarranted and sometimes feels slightly creepy.

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

  • By: Natasha Pulley
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,908
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,906

It's 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An enchanting read

  • By anne on 15-08-15

Intrigued to keep listening while the story unfolded

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

Reviewed: 12-09-17

The story kept me engaged throughout. It was just the level of weirdness that I like - peculiar but still in touch with a world that feels real. The main characters were clear individuals with memorable traits and aspects. The narrator was "invisible" and I have a lasting impression of it being a performance with a cast rather than a book read by an individual. The author has a unique style and creative ideas, and I will definitely read another of her books.

  • Mermaids Singing

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 866
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 785

Up until now the only serial killers Tony Hill had encountered were safely behind bars. This one’s different - this one’s on the loose. Four men have been found mutilated and tortured. As fear grips the city, the police turn to clinical psychologist Tony Hill for a profile of the killer. But soon Tony becomes the unsuspecting target in a battle of wits and wills, where he has to use every ounce of his professional nerve to survive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good ( if a little too gory) book but terrible narration

  • By S. Christie on 09-08-16

A bit too gruesome for me

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

Reviewed: 12-07-17

Good characters that are easily distinguishable and an interesting story with twists and turns. Somewhat dated now, especially the details of the IT equipment, and attitudes towards sexuality, but evocative of the times. I was not keen on the narrator, especially his portrayal of the female characters. Mainly, however, I was uncomfortable with the descriptions of the torture. Not great listening while chopping up meat for a casserole!

  • A Darker Domain

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Eilidh Fraser
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 664
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 590

It's 1984. The miners' strike is dividing the country. In a struggling coal-mining town, the miners and their families are living at the edge of their resources. On the 14th of December, five miners break ranks to travel to Nottingham and work. For those who stay behind, this is an unforgivable betrayal. Twenty-three years later, a young woman is asking the police to trace her missing father. Miner Mick Prentice vanished, never to be seen again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cleverly constructed story

  • By Kirstine on 17-10-12

Great story. I am definitely a Val McDermid fan now.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-17

The plot was carefully crafted and the characters memorable and easily distinguished. I was carried along by the story, and the cooking and cleaning chores were done on automatic pilot while I listened, absorbed in the audio. The descriptions of Tuscany brought back memory after memory of last year's holiday. The final twist in the tale came as a surprise and I kicked myself for finding it so unexpected!
I found the narrator fine, and have no criticisms beyond one or two minor slips, but I am not Scottish, and the scots accent adds flavour to these stories for me.

  • His Bloody Project

  • By: Graeme Macrae Burnet
  • Narrated by: Crawford Logan, Cameron Mowat
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,050

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Presented as a collection of documents, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers, which offer conflicting impressions, throwing Macrae's motive and his sanity into question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much, Much Better than the Sample Suggests

  • By Alex on 18-11-16

I felt real sympathy for poor Roddy

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

Reviewed: 17-05-17

A sympathetic retelling with 21st century understanding of this real horrific murder. I felt empathy with the village and the hardship of the crofters' lives. Part of me completely understood why Roddy committed the murders. To be so trapped within such a life is unendurable and although our 21st century brings a different social order, I am sure that there must be individuals who commit such crimes out of similar feelings of entrapment with no other way out.