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Dragon

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Another very good listen in this likeable series

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

Reviewed: 11-03-20

This one follows up a long range story involving jackman’s adversary, the obsessive psychopath. It is well done and the best thing in it are the lovable characters and the incidental villains. The cop-psycho story is old hat though, and it only ends one way. So not quite my favorite of this series but a good listen all the same.


Thoroughly listenable

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

Reviewed: 15-02-20

Love this series. Best for me are the forensic anthropology sections, Cathbad the Druid, and the fun cast of dodgy alternatives who circle around the writers retreat. Ruth’s affair with the detective continues annoying - but this is a minor drawback in a good fun crime drama. Reading is clear and well paced though she struggles doing a Blackpool male. Recommended overall.

Good story

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

Reviewed: 21-11-19

I'm a fan of the Ruth Galloway books and this one takes a trip to Blackpool which is fun, though I miss the Norfolk coast! It has a lot of Cathbad and he is great value. On the down-side, there is a peculiar issue here with the performance. The main reader is interrupted by exclamations by a recorded, simulated or acted child playing the part of Kate (Ruth's daughter) - this does not work well! Doesn't spoil it though. An entertaining listen,.

Best yet

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

Reviewed: 21-11-19

I enjoy the 'cosy crime' feel of the Ruth Galloway books - cosy crime with an interesting archeological theme and some good long-running characters. This one stood out for me with its compassionate view on homelessness - and an interesting 'twist' on that theme also towards the end in which one of the more downtrodden characters turns up very strong.

Weak imitation of better books

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

Reviewed: 09-07-19

Derivative: Terry Pratchett meets Douglas Adams, pepped up (or down) with some obscenities. Read by a respectable-sounding narrator who seems uncomfortable with the text. Humour is hard to do, this doesn’t do it for me.

Good whodunnit and excellent reading

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

Reviewed: 09-05-19

Murders and some dodgy archeological discoveries... a good solid detective drama that I listen to while driving and doing housework. This part of the series steps away from Magnus’s personal backstory and resumes ‘murder of the week’ mode which is probably better. Some nice tensions and plausible motives to keep you guessing. Great reading by Sean Barrat.

Good fun whodunnit with Icelandic twist

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

Reviewed: 11-04-19

US cop ends up in Iceland solving a mystery linked to sagas and to Tolkien. This is a good listen and for me has the right balance of light and enough dark to make it interesting. A good listen for driving to work and a lot less upsetting than Jo Nesbo!

Don’t bother!

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

I like Horowitz as a tv writer and love his modern crime novels, but as a hardcore Conan Doyle fan I find this one, like House of Silk, a disappointment. The pace is painfully slow (gory detail doesn’t help, character and story are lacking) and the dialogue feels stilted and fake. All of this derives in part from the central conceit of this story which grindingly builds towards an inevitable twist in the tail. Honestly Horowitz is better than this and I’d thoroughly recommend instead you go read his newer books where he puts his Sherlock Holmes lore into a contemporary setting.

Dark Deeds in St Andrews

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

Full marks for local atmosphere and knowledge in this intelligent crime thriller. Also top marks for whodunnit puzzle (you kind of know who did it but there are surprises too). The story I found a bit dark and cruel for my mood: Scottish noir, not cosy crime! This is not really a criticism (crime is nasty, fair enough) just a personal reaction.

Downside: ponderous performance, not very expressive and not always even phrased properly. A female narrator in keeping with the female author would be preferable.

Thoroughly entertaining!

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Horowitz plays himself, up against a modern, humourless Holmes. Lots of ironic tributes to Conan doyle, Christie etc. Fun.