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Giftgiver

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#Iammickmatlock

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

A hugely amusing commentary on the state of modern life. I enjoyed this immensely and identified totally with Mick Matlock (apart from his ability to bound up several flights of stairs). Ben Elton has accurately trained the spotlight on so many of today's issues and manages to make the reader/listener laugh and think in equal measure.

The nature of the book means that it's likely to become outmoded in the future, so I urge anyone considering this title to buy it sooner rather than later. Ben Elton's narration is perfect, as you'd expect.

Stellar cast of narrators let down by the story

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

Reviewed: 11-04-19

The first couple of graphic, grisly scenes made me dubious about continuing to listen, but I'm made of stern stuff and persevered. On reflection, I should have trusted my instincts and called it a day.

The author appears to have stuffed as many possible crimes as possible into one book. Not content with child abuse, we have online grooming, abduction, fraud, torture and murder (there may be more - my mind is somewhat numb). And those crimes aren't all strands of the same plot - there are several plots being served up here at once.

The structure of the work is peculiar, too - I spent much of my time wondering if we'd ever find out about the amputated leg mentioned in the very early stages and it didn't feature again until the Epilogue. I can quite understand that other listeners might have missed that entirely, because the Epilogue came after the extensive cast and crew list. If I hadn't been driving at the time I would have turned off during the list and never heard the extensive tying up of loose ends contained in the Epilogue. On reflection, there must have been at least three occasions where the story appeared to be over but it wasn't.

I haven't read any other of this author's works and probably won't in the future. I can't imagine that any of the cast of narrators would see this as a jewel in the crown of their respective careers, although they all did a good job with the material they were given.

1 person found this helpful

Now, how can I put this?

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

Great narration of an intriguing story with plenty of twists.

One or two reviews have made mention of the graphic content - I naively thought they were referring to gruesome deaths or injuries,which I'm fairly comfortable with, being a strong-stomached aficionado of crime fiction. Deaths and injuries do feature, but the frequent description of sexual arousal and response was frankly tiresome in my opinion. The story would have been just as strong without them, and I wondered whether the author was aiming for some sort of psycho crime/soft porn mashup to double his potential readership?

Having said that, I did listen to then end. Probably won't be seeking out Will Carver's works again, though.

5 people found this helpful

Doom and gloom

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

Reviewed: 16-08-18

I've read the earlier books in the series and although Joe's life is never a bowl of cherries, this time it's unrelentingly grim. The narration reflected this, but just added to my very negative experience. I didn't feel any empathy with Joe, his mother, his father, their friends or any other of the characters except Vincent, whose loyalty and friendship is the only testament to the character of Joe that we've got to know in the earlier works.

I'll be looking out for the the next book in the series because this is the first time that Michael Robotham has disappointed me and I'm hoping for return to form in the future.

Poor

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

Reviewed: 19-10-17

Well narrated and well written, the whole is let down by the entirely implausible plot. My engagement with Ellie, Helen and their alter egos diminished with every chapter. There were plenty of opportunities for the deception to be exposed long before its effects started to take their toll.

I hope that Ann Morgan will continue to write, as she's obviously talented, but would ask for a more believable plot.

1 person found this helpful

Highly recommended

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

Reviewed: 27-09-17

The recommendations of a couple of friends led me to this book, and now in my turn I'm recommending it. The socially awkward Eleanor made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes at various points. Her story is very delicately told, with deft signposts to the progress she's making making her character entirely believable. Raymond, too, is a delight - I was confident that his relationship with Eleanor would be exactly what was best for both of them.

The entire backstory isn't revealed till the very end and it was satisfying to have correctly predicted what has happened (although this is probably a testament to the author's skill rather than my powers of deduction).

Narration is top notch and contributed greatly to my enjoyment of this work.

1 person found this helpful

A benchmark for audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 25-07-17

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

For me, this was an excellent example of what I look for in an audiobook - compelling story, interesting characters, clear narration. Not knowing how it would end until the actual end was a bonus.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was fascinated by the awful Lydia - her veneer of respectability and maternal love hid a very different character. That she didn't really suffer the consequences of her actions wasn't something I took issue with - that is sometimes the case in real life.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

All three were masterful. Lydia's refined, controlled determination was fabulously credible - I fully expected her to lose her cool towards the end of the story, but she kept her everything reined in. Poor Lawrence - his awkwardness and struggles to lose weight and wrest some independence from his mother were very realistically represented. Unlike another reviewer I found Karen's portrayal to be excellent - the relaxed demeanour of the very beautiful, with underlying lack of confidence were conveyed well.

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

When it became clear that Lydia's machinations wouldn't be discovered.

Any additional comments?

I'm going to read more of Liz Nugent's work, and will be keeping an eye out for anything read by the three narrators of Lying in Wait.

Left me feeling uncomfortable

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

Reviewed: 10-02-17

I heard the author being interviewed on Woman's Hour and thought this sounded like my sort of book. Most of the reviews were enthusiastic, so I made my purchase.

The narrator does convey Millie's mindset very well, but I wasa little irritated that she also used the monotone when other characters were speaking. She conveyed Millie's confidence gradually building very well, though.

I'd guessed the truth about Daniel fairly early on, but was on the edge of my seat in terms of Morgan's, MK's and Phoebe's safety. Very gripping situations, all of them.

Had I not known the author's firsthand knowledge of this sort of situation I would probably not have found the book so disturbing; as it is I felt very uncomfortable contemplating what had happened and what was likely to happen in the future. Presumably this was the author's aim, in which case she succeeded!

4 people found this helpful

Sorry, this didn't work for me

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

Reviewed: 30-01-17

The premise on which the story is based is pretty much implausible. Without wishing to give anything away for those who haven't read it, I felt that the complete absence of red flags before Jack's true character emerged was unbelievable. Grace's compliance, over many many moths, with only a couple of feeble attempts to extricate herself irritated me beyond belief.

The solution to her situation was bizarre and risky - she'd had enough time to think through the disadvantages but miraculously everything went according to plan. Her new friend apparently had psychic powers to enable her to know what was going on, and was willing to risk a great deal for a woman she appeared to have met only a couple of times. I'm all for female solidarity but that was ridiculous!

Narration was good.

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 18-01-17

I've read/listened to other Rachel Abbott titles and was pleased to see this one advertised and praised. Police procedure is described in an interesting (and presumably realistic) way and I was pleased to be in the company of Tom, Becky and colleagues again. The author makes it clear that apart from gut feeling and insight police detective work involves a lot of hard slog.

The Maggie/Duncan story was what let this title down. You know the feeling you get when watching a film where the heroine ventures alone, in killer heels and without a torch into a disused cellar? For me, that feeling was present whenever Maggie featured in the plot. As previous reviewers have remarked, this is a person who is educated, conversant with criminals and a caring mother - there is no way such a person would behave in the way Maggie does! Her thought processes and actions are seriously flawed with the only explanation being that she loves her husband, and I couldn't believe that a husband who deceived her so extensively would be worthy of her protection.

1 person found this helpful