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United Kingdom
  • 109
  • reviews
  • 88
  • helpful votes
  • 156
  • ratings
  • 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 741
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686

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

Narration a Distraction

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Val McDermid's book's are great - always page-turners, always well plotted and usually great characters. However, the characters in this were really hard to figure out and felt flat and I'm sure it's because of the narration. All the women sounded the same, unless they had a terrible accent. All the men sounded elderly and had terrible accents, unless they were Tony Hill, who sounded like a slightly younger version than the narrator, trying simultaneously to talk whilst having his bum pinched or trying not to fall off a tightrope. It's a shame because I thought Saul Reichlin did a great job narrating the Millennium Trilogy, but maybe he pulled it off because he sounds naturally kind of Nordic and nobody was from Newcastle, Glasgow or Liverpool. If you've got a tin ear for accents, maybe this won't be an issue for you, but for me it was a huge distraction. I still enjoyed the plot and the writing is great, but I think I will give the Hill/Jordan audiobooks a miss and read the rest in print.

  • The Dark Angel

  • Ruth Galloway Mysteries, Book 10
  • By: Elly Griffiths
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He's discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village near Rome but doesn't know what to make of them. It's years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great listen, excellent work!

  • By Jude on 09-02-18

Story great, narrator not for me

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I enjoy this series of books, I'm always interested to see what's happening in the lives of the characters. The mystery always throws up a few surprises too. My issue is with the narrator - the reading is so clipped everyone comes across as cold and detached. In addition, Jane McDowell always sounds like she's gasping/positioning her tongue in the back of her mouth ready to utter each sentence, it's really off-putting. I want a great narrator who makes you forget they're there unless they are making the story come alive.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,522
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,153

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected gem

  • By Andrew on 29-01-17

Literally loses the plot

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

Reviewed: 03-08-17

I loved the premise for the book. It's well written, humorous and engaging to a point. I have tried to listen to We Are Legion twice and I've come unstuck at the same point both times. Whilst Bob is a charming character and the narration and dialogue are excellent, about a third of the way in, the plot (which was promising at the start) putters out.

If you are more interested in a technical/science-laden conversation between characters rather than a plot, then this is for you. You probably enjoyed The Martian too, whereas I couldn't see the woody plot for the techie talk trees.

  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

  • A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century
  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,435
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 985
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 975

Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very, very interesting - highly recommended

  • By anthonyunionjackson on 06-05-09

A virtual museum

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

Reviewed: 08-07-17

Whilst I'm interested in history, I almost exclusively read/listen to fiction so a non-fiction audiobook is a bit of a departure for me. This book has neither plot nor real characters to follow and I never would have thought clusters of facts about the medieval period and its people would hold my attention to the same extent as a good detective novel, but it does.

The listening experience is very like wandering round a museum, castle or stately home with an audio-guide, although rather than looking around at the various artefacts, your imagination supplies the view. A picture builds of daily life, the structure of society, attitudes towards different members, how fashions change over time and so on. It is fascinating.

Jonathan Keeble's narration is perfect.

  • Go Set a Watchman

  • By: Harper Lee
  • Narrated by: Reese Witherspoon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,158
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,165

Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good , but don't expect an actual plot

  • By Adrian & Andre's mum on 20-08-15

Beautifully read

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

Reece Witherspoon's narration was perfect and along with Harper Lee's wonderful writing, made this a very easy listen in many ways. It was interesting to revisit the Finch family and see how they'd grown and changed - the flashbacks of the intervening years were the most charming aspects of the book.

*Spoilers*

Having said that, I wasn't really sure what Lee was striving for here. This was not so much a novel, but an allegory for discovering the fallibility of one's parents. Unfortunately, it also felt more like a lecture which, whilst Jean-Louise represents the values espoused by the Finch family in To Kill a Mockingbird, ultimately apologises for the segregationist viewpoint. I was uncomfortable with the last portion of the book because it suggested an intolerable viewpoint is somehow acceptable if held by the older and 'wiser'. Perhaps it reflects the time in which the book was written, but again, I'm not sure what the author set out to achieve.

  • The Last Anniversary

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039

"I'll tell you something, something important. Love is a decision. Not a feeling. That's what you young people don't realise. That's why you're always off divorcing each other. No offence, dear." So decrees the formidable Connie Thrum of Scribbly Gum Island. She is the chief decision-maker of a rather unconventional family and her word is law. It's been over seventy years since Connie and her sister Rose visited their neighbours and found the kettle boiling and a baby waking for her feed, but no sign of her parents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Lisa on 21-01-15

Entertaining, gripping, but a little unbelievable

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

Reviewed: 29-09-16

Liane Moriarty writes books that are as close to chicklit as I'd like to get...hers are far cleverer, have that mystery/twist thing going on and more credible characters and relationships than some vacuous nonsense I've tried and failed to read and enjoy.

The characters here are believable and shrewdly drawn and there's just the right amount of wry humour peppered throughout; it's properly clever and funny without appearing to try. Caroline Lee is the perfect narrator - between them, she and Liane Moriarty are very good at evoking a mental picture of every person.

As for the underlying premise, I did find it hard to believe that the mystery of 'The Munro Baby' could sustain enough interest to make a tourist attraction endure, let alone be lucrative for so many years. In addition, the solution to the mystery fell flat for me - the reveal in The Husband's Secret was a massive surprise, by contrast. However, if you suspend your disbelief on that score, it's still a page-turner that will more than hold your interest and reflects more realistically on the nature of family and the goings-on within.

I enjoyed this book, but would recommend The Husband's Secret, What Alice Forgot and Little Lies more highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Husband's Secret

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,413
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,402

The Husband's Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love, and secrets. When her husband announces he's in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother's house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame. Rachel is a woman in her 60s consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter 20 years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes you want to listen to the end

  • By Joanne on 10-11-13

An excellent listen

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

Reviewed: 30-11-15

Would you listen to The Husband's Secret again? Why?

Yes, even though the plot is out of the bag, I enjoyed all the characters and the narration so much, it's one I'll go back to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Husband's Secret?

The contents of the letter - not what I expected at all.

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

Well, Caroline Lee's Australian accent is so much better than my imaginary one, so I'd say a realistic voice for all the characters.

Any additional comments?

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did and I think it was because everything in it was believable and I found myself wondering how I would be reacting to different situations. The multi-perspective approach was just right to give depth to all the characters and the ways their stories intertwined.

  • The Vanishing Witch

  • By: Karen Maitland
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 17 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 251

The reign of Richard II is troubled, the poor are about to become poorer still and landowners are lining their pockets. It's a case of every man for himself, whatever his status or wealth. But in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, who can you trust? The dour wool merchant? His impulsive son? The stepdaughter with the hypnotic eyes? Or the raven-haired widow clutching her necklace of bloodstones? And when people start dying unnatural deaths and the peasants decide it's time to fight back, it's all too easy to spy witchcraft at every turn.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Vanishing Interest

  • By W on 26-10-15

The Vanishing Interest

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

Reviewed: 26-10-15

This started out really well, but I felt it ran out of steam towards the end and I wasn't sure all ends were tied up. There were elements that were definitely not for children, but overall this did feel like a book for younger readers. To me, a better book in a similar vein would be Witch Child by Celia Rees. There were a few twists and turns here and there, but they were fairly predictable and the central character, Robert, wasn't very likeable.
The narration was excellent.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Skinny Dip

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

Joey Perrone is a woman with a mission. She's just been pushed overboard from a cruise liner by Chaz, her scumbag husband, and survived to tell the tale. But rather than reporting the crime to the police, she decides to stay dead and instead of getting mad, get even. Filled with a host of endearingly offbeat characters, and a narrative that is hilarious, romantic and thought-provoking by turns, Skinny Dip takes us on a journey through the warped politics of southern Florida.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Acerbic wit and social critique

  • By P1969 on 21-02-15

Entertaining but not gripping

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

Reviewed: 20-10-15

What did you like best about Skinny Dip? What did you like least?

The plot was interesting enough for me to want to finish the book and I most enjoyed the humour and characters, particularly the 'bodyguard' Toole, who had real depth. The least enjoyable aspect was the narration of the female characters - grating, harsh, whiny and caricature-like.

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

I'd probably change the narrator - I think it's Jeff Harding as announced on the soundtrack, although my library says it's Kerry Shale.

Any additional comments?

I'd had Carl Hiasson's books on a mental to-do list because the blurbs made them seem like my kind of thing, smart, funny crime novel, but I'm not as impressed as I'd expected to be and I'm not sure if it was the narrator or the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Us

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Justin Salinger
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,047
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,046

Douglas Petersen’s family is on the brink of dissolution. His marriage of twenty-one years to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for college. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But before everything falls apart, there's still the summer holidays to get through - a Grand Tour of Europe's major cities - and over the course of the journey, Douglas devises a plan to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with his son.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story but….

  • By lou58 on 13-10-14

Mostly dreary

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

Reviewed: 20-09-15

What would have made Us better?

A more dynamic narrator or more humour might have helped.

Has Us put you off other books in this genre?

Yes, if the genre is 'mundane events in an incredibly ordinary middle class family' then I'm not going to seek out another.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I'm mostly ambivalent.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I listened to the end to see if anything happened, which I suppose is a plus-point. And I think I smiled once or twice.

Any additional comments?

The central character Douglas was difficult to identify with and I couldn't engage with his viewpoint; the other characters seemed either clichéd or a bit blank. If you're looking back on your now-failing marriage and stilted relationship with your child and want to read a story about someone fairly dull experiencing the same, then this is for you. It wasn't for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful