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PJ van Zetten

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Deceiver

  • By: Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 268

Sam McCready is The Deceiver, one of the Secret Intelligence Service's most unorthodox and most valued operatives, a legend in his own time. The end of the cold war has, however, strengthened the hand of the Whitehall mandarins, to whom he seems about as controllable as Genghis Khan, so Sam is to have his fate decided at a special hearing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • superb short stories

  • By Brodie on 29-06-14

FF - a real stunner

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Frederick Forsyth novels never disappoint.
This book, however, is in a class of its own. I couldn’t wait to hear the next chapter and yet I was disappointed when it ended, because I wanted more.
Even though I worked out the penultimate twist, it was fascinating how it evolved.
For a reader/listener I think FF is a national treasure. And his autobiography goes some way to explain why he can pull off these complex plots with ease.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret Hangman

  • By: Peter Lovesey
  • Narrated by: Christopher Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75

Peter Diamond, the Bath detective, is having woman trouble. His boss wants him to find a missing person, the daughter of one of her friends in the choir. Another woman, who calls herself his secret admirer, wants to set up a meeting in a local pub. Then there is sexy Ingeborg Smith, the ex-journalist detective constable, distracting the murder squad from their duties.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intricate plot

  • By Kirstine on 08-07-09

Dreadful narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

If Michael Tudor Barnes is a 10, and Peter Wickham is a 7, then Christopher Scott would be a 3.
One of the characters in this book is called Ingeborg - and when the Diamond character shortens her name, he say Inge (Inger). However when the narrator is telling the story, he refers to her as Ing-borg.
This blatant mispronunciation grated so badly, it came close to ruining the book for me.

  • Katherine

  • The classic historical romance
  • By: Anya Seton
  • Narrated by: Diana Bishop
  • Length: 24 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of 15. The naïve convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court. Nevertheless, Katherine is beautiful, and she turns the head of the King's favourite son John of Gaunt. But he is married, and she is soon to be betrothed. A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please give us more Anya Seton!

  • By C on 07-09-12

A brilliant evocation

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

Reviewed: 07-12-17

Meticulously researched period of history bringing John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster to vibrant life. The Plantagenets were quite a family!

  • The Kalahari Typing School for Men

  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 4
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 44

Precious Ramotswe is continuing to run her detective agency from the garage of her fiancé, Mr J. L. B. Matakoni. Plans for their wedding need to be made - but when, if ever, will they wed? Intriguing cases present themselves and Mma Ramotswe juggles new clients with her usual formidable talent. However, when her first-class assistant Mma Makutsi decides to expand the agency by opening a much-needed typing school for men, things become complicated.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Continuing to be pleasant

  • By Amazon Customer on 17-05-18

A comparison

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

Reviewed: 19-07-16

Would you listen to The Kalahari Typing School for Men again? Why?

No. Not because the story is no good, it is entertaining. With apology to Hilary Neville who does a perfectly reasonable job but cannot bring the story to life in the same way Adjoa Andoh does. The rhythm of Africa is lost when spoken only by a perfectly modulated English voice. Ms Andoh can do this perfectly, when in narration mode and can convey Botswana beautifully when in conversation mode.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The ever delightful Precious. Her wisdom and insights are delightful.

What aspect of the narrator’s performance might you have changed?

As beautifully as she speaks, Hilary Neville is not the right person to bring these stories to life.

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

This is not a book that "moves" but one that entertains.

Any additional comments?

No

  • Unsinkable

  • A Memoir
  • By: Debbie Reynolds, Dorian Hannaway
  • Narrated by: Debbie Reynolds
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

The definitive memoir by legendary actress and performer Debbie Reynolds - an entertaining and moving story of enduring friendships and unbreakable family bonds, of hitting bottom and rising to the top again - that offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite, from the glory days of MGM to the present.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly fascinating

  • By K Cox on 18-08-13

Fascinating insights into a star's life

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

Reviewed: 25-02-16

She's seen it, she's done it and she's had it done to her. This lady is a definite surviver. Go Debbie!!!

  • Public Secrets

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63

Emma McAvoy may have grown up in the limelight, but some secrets are hidden in a darkness no light can reach. Now on the verge of a successful career, and having fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Emma is looking to the future. Yet it’s the past that is about to catch up with her. For Emma, her childhood had been almost like a rags-to-riches fairy tale - until the tragic night that changed her family forever. But what Emma thinks she knows about that terrible night and the man she’s about to marry is only half the truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • would be 5star but for narrator

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-09-14

Ruining by accents

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

Reviewed: 03-01-16

What disappointed you about Public Secrets?

The atrocious cockney accents - trained at the Dick van Dyke Mary Poppins school of cockney, me'thinks - and the truly dreadful Irish brogues

Would you recommend Public Secrets to your friends? Why or why not?

I would suggest they read the book rather than listen to this audio

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Renee Raudman?

Anyone who could product authentic Cockney and Irish accents

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

Disappointment as the performance doesn't do justice to a decent Roberts story

  • Homeport

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Erika Leigh
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

The unseen assailant attacked Dr. Miranda Jones outside her Maine home as she returned from a busy lecture tour. After terrorizing her with a knife held to her throat, he stole her purse, slashed her tires, and disappeared. Shaken and bruised, Miranda was determined to put the assault out of her mind.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Typical N Roberts

  • By sarahmoose2000 on 04-06-10

A Roberts is a Roberts

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

Reviewed: 06-10-15

One of the joys of a Nora Roberts book is that you know what you are getting. This is a good yarn, with a few interesting twists, and does not disappoint on the 'happy ever after, with all the loose ends picked up' front.

  • Tears of the Moon

  • Irish Gallagher's Pub, Book 2
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Patricia Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

A talented songwriter, Shawn Gallagher spends his days lost in reverie and wonder, oblivious to the wiles of women and the ways of the world. He claims that he's content with his life, but his music tells a different story - one of loneliness and desperate longing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • tears of the moon

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-12-18

Entertaining if predictable

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

Reviewed: 30-05-15

The story is what you would expect from Nora Roberts' magical pen. Patricia Daniels Irish accent leave much to be desired & distracted from the story.

  • Birthright

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Quigley
  • Length: 16 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76

On a hot July afternoon, a worker at an Antietam Creek construction site drives the blade of his backhoe into a layer of soil - and strikes a 5,000-year-old human skull. The discovery draws plenty of attention and a lot of controversy. It also changes the life of one woman in ways she never expected.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story! Terrible Narration!

  • By Dixie_Chick on 09-11-15

Rattling good yarn

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

Reviewed: 08-03-15

A creative story with believable characters. Nora Roberts has found an award winning formula & sticks to it well. All one expects from her main protagonists; much fun can be found in some of the minor characters.

  • Key of Light

  • Key, Book 1
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

The Malory Price Life Plan does not include a quixotic quest - but the strangers on Warrior's Peak claim that she must find a key that will release three souls held captive by an evil god.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable listen

  • By Catherine kelly on 20-12-18

Unfailingly entertaining

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

Reviewed: 28-01-15

Nora Roberts knows how to weave a good yarn. Her character are real. Almost makes one believe in magick ..... Almost.