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Karen

Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • The Seagull

  • By: Ann Cleeves
  • Narrated by: Janine Birkett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 826
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper - and Vera played a part in his downfall. Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer, if she will look out for his family. He tells her that Marshall is dead, his body buried close to St Mary's Island in Whitley Bay.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • don't try the accent if you can't keep it up<br /><br />

  • By Yvonne on 07-12-17

A well told intriguing tale

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

Reviewed: 26-08-18

I love Anne Cleeve's books. They are evocative of place and usually a compelling read/listen. Although as ever this is a stand alone story it builds on the recurring characters and fills out some of their history. I love that Vera is down to earth, unworried by her looks but I do sometimes think the author is a little harsh on her hence 4 stars overall. The narrator is good but is just slightly off in voicing some characters.

  • A Presumption of Death

  • By: Jill Paton Walsh, Dorothy L Sayers
  • Narrated by: Edward Petherbridge
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137

In A Presumption of Death, Jill Paton Walsh tells how World War II changed the lives of Peter, Harriet and their growing family. The story opens in 1940. Harriet Vane - now Lady Peter Wimsey - has taken her children to safety in the country. But the war has followed them: glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalise the villagers; the blackout makes the nighttime lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than Sayers on her own!

  • By Barbara Hembling on 07-02-17

Not quite Dorothy L Sayers but not far off

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

Reviewed: 29-03-17

I love Lord Peter Wimsey and Ian Carmichael's narration is peerless in my opinion so I approached this with some trepidation. Whilst the solution is not as complex as many of Dorothy L Sayers stories I think Jill Paton Walsh has managed to capture the spirit of the characters beautifully and Edward Petheridge makes a decent fist of the narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Night School

  • Jack Reacher 21
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,901
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,719
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,708

In the morning they gave Reacher a medal. And in the afternoon, they sent him back to school. Night School takes Reacher back to his army days, but this time he's not in uniform. With trusted sergeant Frances Neagley at his side, he must carry the fate of the world on his shoulders in a wired, fiendishly clever new adventure that will make cold sweat trickle down your spine.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Really Disappointed

  • By Film_Strip on 15-11-16

Going through the motions

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

Reviewed: 29-03-17

I have enjoyed the Jack Reacher series but I think Lee Child is running out of steam.

  • Cherringham - A Cosy Crime Series Compilation

  • Cherringham 4-6
  • By: Matthew Costello, Neil Richards
  • Narrated by: Neil Dudgeon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338

Jack's a retired ex-cop from New York, seeking the simple life in Cherringham. Sarah's a Web designer who's moved back to the village to find herself. But their lives are anything but quiet as the two team up to solve Cherringham's criminal mysteries. This compilation contains episodes 4 - 6: THICK AS THIEVES, LAST TRAIN TO LONDON and THE CURSE OF MABB'S FARM.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By Jane on 14-03-17

Easy listening whilst driving

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

Reviewed: 29-03-17

These are fairly simple mysteries but the characters are very likeable. I do a lot of driving with journey times of about 45 minutes so the 3 - 4 stories per download suits me but you wouldn't want to listen to them consecutively on a long journey as there isn't enough complexity in the stories. I like Neil Dudgeon's narration but he does mumble occasionally.

  • The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent

  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Adam Baldwin
  • Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 409

Have you ever seen a planet invaded by rampaging space mutants from another dimension or Nazi dinosaurs from the future? Don't let this happen to you! Rifts happen, so you should be ready when universes collide. A policy with Stranger & Stranger can cover all of your interdimensional insurance needs. Rated "Number One in Customer Satisfaction" for three years running, no claim is too big or too weird for Tom Stranger to handle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Laugh Out Loud High-Speed, Utter Absurdity!

  • By Simon on 24-05-16

Couldn't get past the first 10 minutes

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

Reviewed: 13-10-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it had been written by Douglas Addams.

What was most disappointing about Larry Correia’s story?

I was hoping for something, witty and captivating along the lines of Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy but I found this dull and silly.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Adam Baldwin?

Julian Rhind - Tutt

What character would you cut from The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent?

All of them.

Any additional comments?

To be fair I didn't listen to the story as I couldn't bear it after the first 10 minutes. I downloaded it on a whim as the title sounded interesting - I've discovered some good authors this way but inevitably there's going to be a few duds and this was one - just not my cup of tea.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Closed Casket

  • The New Hercule Poirot Mystery
  • By: Sophie Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 562
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 526

Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will - one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live.... Among Lady Playford's guests are two men she has never met - the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculous plot, badly in need of editing

  • By Karen on 13-10-16

Ridiculous plot, badly in need of editing

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

Reviewed: 13-10-16

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Don't know, the plot is ludicrous and the story is endlessly repetitive.

What was most disappointing about Sophie Hannah’s story?

The plot. Some of the characterisation is good but they run over the same points again and again ad nauseum. The only thing that makes this a worthwhile purchase is Julian Rhind - Tutt's performance.

What about Julian Rhind-Tutt’s performance did you like?

Everything. His voices and accents are clearly distinguishable and give you an insight into the individuals character and are very appropriate to the story setting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Intense disappointment, as a Christie fan I think this book is a travesty.

Any additional comments?

One and a quarter hours to reveal the denouement which could have comfortably been completed in 20 minutes.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • A Season for the Dead

  • The Rome Series: Book 1
  • By: David Hewson
  • Narrated by: Sean Baker
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 146

The first in an Italian crime series set in Rome. Whilst Sara Farnese pours over ancient texts in the silent and beautiful Vatican reading room, a crazed man enters carrying a bloodied bag. He walks up to Sara's desk. He has something he would like her to see. Sara is inextricably linked to a series of horrific murders, each one representative of the death of a martyr of the Church. Enter Detectives Costa and Rossi. They must protect Sara whilst hunting down the killer, and time is running short.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An extraordinary and gripping story

  • By Kirstine on 28-02-08

Reasonable story, awful narration

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

Reviewed: 02-02-15

What did you like best about A Season for the Dead? What did you like least?

A season for thr Dead is quite an engaging story but rather long and convoluted.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Less philosophising/ moralisng and more storytelling

What didn’t you like about Sean Baker’s performance?

I thought it was ridiculous and very disconcerting to use British regional and national accents for a story set in Rome. There was even inconsistencies if you accept the premise in that family members spoke with wildly varying accents and the female characters all more or less sounded the same.

Was A Season for the Dead worth the listening time?

Just about.

Any additional comments?

I will try the second in the series as I quite liked the character of Nic Costa and crazy Teresa and they have a different narrator.

  • Lamentation

  • Shardlake, Book 6
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 25 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,030
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 927
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 924

Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry's successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake's old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like listening to a play

  • By Brodie on 06-11-14

Brilliant Historical Detail

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

Reviewed: 19-01-15

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

Yes, you become completely immersed

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lamentation?

The burning of Anne Askew

Any additional comments?

C J Sansom is a gifted storyteller. He weaves complex plot lines neatly together and develops his characters so well that you can really visualise them.

  • The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi

  • Burton & Swinburne, Book 4
  • By: Mark Hodder
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Burton & Swinburne return in a new series! The Beast is coming. History will be remade. Since the assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840, a cabal of prominent men - including King George V, HRH Prince Albert, Benjamin Disraeli, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel - has received guidance from the afterlife. The spirit of a dead mystic, Abdu El Yezdi, has helped them to steer the empire into a period of unprecedented peace and creativity. But on the eve of a groundbreaking alliance with the newly formed Greater German Confederation, scientists, surgeons, and engineers are being abducted - including Brunel!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of the series so far.

  • By N16 on 16-02-16

Brilliant rendered steam punk world

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

Reviewed: 06-07-14

Who was your favorite character and why?

Swinburne is a brilliant character, brave, eccentric, witty and child like in his wonder without being childish

What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His narration of this series is the best narration of any audiobook I've heard, I just look the voices he uses for his characters particularly the two leading men. The voice he uses for Sir Richard is deep and rich and I could listen to it forever. I only wish he narrated other books in the same voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when one of the characters dies, I rarely get choked up listening to books but that scene really moved me.

Any additional comments?

The Swinburne/Burton series are clever and thought provoking. You cannot really listen to them in isolation as you would lose so much of the history and time twisting. It always takes me a little while to become immersed into their world again but once there I don't want to leave.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon

  • Burton & Swinburne, Book 3
  • By: Mark Hodder
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

Africa, 1863. Sir Richard Francis Burton is an explorer, a linguist, a scholar, and the king's agent - or is he a puppet being manipulated by forces he cannot understand? A race to find the source of the Nile! Algernon Charles Swinburne is a famous young flame-haired poet, thrill-seeker, and follower of the Marquis de Sade. Here they are, back to where the adventure began. It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Weak End to a Great Series

  • By Moonface on 08-04-13

99% brilliant

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

Reviewed: 13-05-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Although you can listen to this as a stand alone story - it is far more resonant if you have read/listened to the previous two in the trilogy. I loved the first book, felt quite ambivalent about the second but was blown away by the third until literally the last couple of minutes - hated the ending. Gerard Doyle is a wonderful narrator - I could listen to him read anything.

What about Gerard Doyle’s performance did you like?

I love the timbre of his voice and his characterisation is wonderful. There are a multitude of characters in the book and it is a credit to Gerard Doyle that you get swept up into the story and all the characters are individual and themselves.