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Melanie Preston Lewis

London
  • 227
  • reviews
  • 114
  • helpful votes
  • 269
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  • Cragside

  • The DCI Ryan Mysteries, Book 6
  • By: LJ Ross
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 696

After his climactic battle with notorious serial killer The Hacker, DCI Ryan is spending the summer with his fiancée within the grounds of Cragside, a spectacular Bavarian-style mansion surrounded by acres of woodland. When they are invited to attend the staff summer party - a Victorian murder mystery evening - it's all a joke until the lights go out and an elderly man is found dead. It looks like an unfortunate accident but, as the dead man's life begins to unfold, Ryan and his team of detectives realise that all is not as it appears.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A 5 star murder mystery

  • By Timi on 19-10-17

Heavenly

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

If you're feeling down, or your reading mojo has gone, then turn to LJ Ross' DCI Ryan series. It is the surest balm for everything and anything that ails you! I'd been holding onto Cragside for a while, waiting for such an occasion, when I saw that in fact, I was getting hopelessly behind and LJ Ross has new Ryan books on the way. I decided to give myself a treat and listen to the 6th in the series. Ohmidays, Ms Ross, with these books you are spoiling us! Listening to the wonderful Jonathan Keeble bring LJ Ross' words to life is like having an unexpected day off work when the rain is pouring down outside and the temperature is freezing. But you're sitting in front of real wood fire, drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream, whilst the partner of your dreams massages your feet; sheer and unadulterated bliss. The characters are so real that I was actually offended for a while because I wasn't invited to Ryan and Anna's wedding! Crime writing really doesn't get better than this! Despite the fact that I've read this series hopelessly out of order, each book is a precious gem of its own. I've read the books, I've listened to the audio, now I'm waiting to see Ryan on screen. Treat yourself and buy the whole set in one hit; you can thank me later!

  • The Butterfly Garden

  • By: Dot Hutchison
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo, Mel Foster
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 514
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 470
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 471

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden. In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees...and a collection of precious "butterflies" - young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A good page turner

  • By KRISTINA on 30-05-17

Compelling

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

This was a completely compelling story, and I feel it was the excellent narration, provided by the talented Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster, that made it so utterly absorbing. The lengths madness can take you, especially if you have money was the theme through this book. I didn't feel that we ever got a satisfactory answer to that question but this is likely because we can't possibly understand what ever drives a psychopath. The Gardener was obviously a high functioning madman, and whether his offspring were also mad, and was this due to nature or nurture was another issue raised in this book. I found Maya's motivations hard to understand and, for me, is why this was a star shy of 5, the ending was a tad frustrating. But otherwise an absorbing listen.

  • Good Girls Don't Die

  • By: Isabelle Grey
  • Narrated by: Melody Grove
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 874
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 797

Accused of grassing up a fellow officer and driven brutally out of home and job, DI Grace Fisher is thankful to survive some dark times and find haven with the Major Investigation Team in Essex. Any hopes of a quiet start to her new life are dashed by the discovery of the body of a female student, last seen at a popular bar in Colchester. Grace has her first case. When a second student, also out drinking, is murdered and left grotesquely posed, the case becomes headline news. Someone is leaking disturbing details to a tabloid crime reporter. Is it the killer? Or a detective close to the case?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Victoria Burton on 17-01-15

Very enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

Good Girls Don't Die is an enjoyable book with engaging characters and clear plot lines. Well worth a listen

  • Lost & Found: A humorous private investigator murder mystery

  • A Daisy Dunlop Mystery, Book 2
  • By: JL Simpson
  • Narrated by: Diana Croft
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Hot on the success of her first case, British female sleuth Daisy Dunlop can count the offers of work on one finger. An empty bank account and the need to prove to her business partner, private investigator Solomon Liffey, that she is an asset, not a liability, calls for drastic measures. Terror has to be overcome as she answers a plea to find the one thing that gives her night sweats and flashbacks. An animal. A missing stud poodle, to be exact.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun murder mystery

  • By SandraL on 08-10-18

Warm and funny

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

Reviewed: 26-09-18

My go-to genre is psychological thriller with an occasional foray into murder, torture and world annihilation, so Lost and Found was something of a gamble for me. I had no history with JL Simpson, a brand new author for me however, this wasn't my first date with the narrator, Diana Croft. Having listened to other audio books narrated by Ms Croft, I felt extremely confident in choosing another with her at the helm. In fact, I've now spent so much time with Ms Croft's voice in my ear, I'm thinking I should buy her a ring or something, to show my commitment. The story was funny, I didn't find it laugh out loud, hilariously funny, but I giggled and smiled along with the plot. It was a little bit too long, but the right-on-the-button, gets-it-right-every-time, comedy timing in the performance by Diana Croft kept the story jogging along nicely. With myriad characters of both sexes, from different parts of the UK and Europe, this was a challenge for any narrator. But therein lies the rub; Ms Croft isn't ANY narrator, she is a voice performance artist par excellence and turned an enjoyable listen into a thoroughly pleasurable experience. Well worth a listen; you can thank me later!

  • The Various Haunts of Men

  • Simon Serrailler 1
  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 14 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 821
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 821

A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquillity and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet cathedral town.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unusual way to start a series

  • By Linda on 27-06-14

Superb

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

Reviewed: 20-09-18

Firstly, I must say two very important words; Steven Pacey. As audio book aficionados will know, a narrator can make or break a book. Then there are a higher group of narrators, (for the sake of expediency let's call them "gods"), who add a layer of pleasure to a book not seen since Ha'agen Dazs made Salted Caramel ice cream! These narrators don't just turn in a brilliant performance, it's almost as if they spread the words of the book all over your body, and then lick them off, such is the added frisson. The story is about someone doing something, (I appear to have lost my train of thought), oh, yes, the divine and enigmatic Simon Serrailler is off investigating with his new sidekick, Freya the songbird. There were many highs and sighs, weeping and wailing and twists and turns. At nearly 15 hours this is a long book, but somehow, I'd barely dried my eyes and it was over. I can sense I will be investing in many more Simon Serrailler books, so long as they are written by Susan Hill, the Mistress of the Pen and narrated by Steven Pacey, who has responsibility for my eargasms! If this review hasn't persuaded you to invest in the audio version of The Various Haunts of Men, you are beyond help. If you have however treated yourself, you can thank me later!

  • Fallout: The First Nick Sullivan Thriller

  • Nick Sullivan Thrillers, Book 1
  • By: Karla Forbes
  • Narrated by: Craig Bowles
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

The British government is being blackmailed by criminals who got their hands on a quantity of plutonium left over from the Cold War. There is only one man who knows their identity and can prevent a disaster, but he is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit and has no intention of being found. As the authorities attempt to track him down, the clock is ticking, and they are running out of time. They pin their hopes on the fact that a bunch of amateurs won’t have nuclear technology and the worst they will manage is a dirty bomb. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Non stop from the beginning

  • By TerryHeth on 19-09-18

What a start!

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

Reviewed: 20-09-18

It's a jolly good job that the strap line to 'Fallout' is, 'The First Nick Sullivan Thriller' as this fact paced, action packed story will leave you wanting more. From the first paragraph you are drawn into a mystery, which swiftly becomes something much more sinister. Every time you think, "Well, things can't get any worse for Nick, somehow, they do". I'm pretty sure Nick Sullivan's middle name isn't 'Lucky'! I must give credit to Craig Bowles' narrating. Full disclosure here, at the beginning I wasn't sure I was going to love his narration. By the end, not only did I love his narration but I'd changed my name to Melanie-Craig and I've taken up bowls! Karla Forbes has created a great character in Nick Sullivan. He's likeable and engaging and I was very invested in what would happen to him. A great first book that has left me eager with anticipation for Book 2. If I may be so bold as to recommend you treat yourself to Fallout, you can thank me later!

  • Stranger Child

  • By: Rachel Abbott
  • Narrated by: Lisa Coleman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,668
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,659

One dark secret. One act of revenge. When Emma Joseph met her husband, David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident. Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thriller With a Human Side

  • By Simon on 10-11-15

A Masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 20-09-18

That Rachel Abbott, she never lets you down does she? This was a completely captivating story, I was totally engrossed and invested in the characters and what would happen to them. I also think I walked around with my mouth hanging open in an "OMG" form for the entire 10 hours. Each time you think you've worked out what's going to happen, Ms Abbott throws in a new twist and turn. This was so cleverly convoluted, I was sure any minute I was going to meet myself coming back in the opposite direction! I ran the gamut of emotions, and was totally enthralled and entranced from the first word to the last. Lisa Coleman is an excellent narrator, and turns in yet another Oscar winning performance with this book. I highly, highly recommend on all highs that you invest in the fascinating story. You can thank me later!

  • Their Lost Daughters

  • Audible's breakthrough crime author of 2018
  • By: Joy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,476
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,271

Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smokin' Start to a New Series!

  • By Simon on 14-06-18

Most enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 13-09-18

A thoroughly shocking story, full of warped people and weird obsessions. Brilliant! As an introduction to a new fighting duo, Jackman and Evans, it was a good taster. I do hope that in future books we learn more about what makes them tick. They came across as a very close pair, although it was difficult to see many examples in this story. I thought PC Gary was a great character and am glad he'll be staying on the team. Debut novels are always hard, because if the author gives up too much of the back story behind the detectives then you lose the pace and momentum of the current investigation. So, I think it's fair to say that the story and the possibilities behind the characters have interested me enough that I'll go on and buy the next in the series. The narration, by Richard Armitage, was good, but not as good as his on stage/TV performances. It goes to show that narrating is really, really hard and that, in my opinion, narrators don't get the credit they deserve. I'd recommend giving this debut novel a go.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Suspect

  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Crispin Redman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,146

Joseph O'Loughlin appears to have the perfect life: a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a successful career as a clinical psychologist. But nothing can be taken for granted. Even the most flawless existence is only one loose thread away from unravelling. All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled young patient - and the biggest lie of his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A gripping yarn

  • By Shoshi on 29-03-08

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 06-09-18

The main protagonist, Professor Joseph O'Loughlin, is such an interesting character, and so full of contradictions, that just reading his daily diary would doubtless be fascinating. He has an enigmatic set of morals, and whilst, on the whole, I subscribe to him being on the side of the angels, Mr Robotham throws enough red herrings into the mix to either confuse us or to encourage us to become well trained seals!! This cat and mouse tale was clever and intelligent, and kept my attention gripped from the start. With no stone unturned and no turn unstoned it appeared as if there was no way out. But dead ends, cul-de-sacs and no through roads are no problem to the mind of Michael Robotham, and we are all out smarted and out manoeuvred by his brilliance. It is worth adding that the narration, performed by Steven Pacey, is, as we've come to expect, outstanding. There is no voice, no accent, no gender that Mr Pacey cannot voice with aplomb. He is a superb narrator and a genuine pleasure to have his voice in ears.

  • Sticky Fingers 2: Another 12 Twisted Short Stories

  • Sticky Fingers Collection, Book 2
  • By: JT Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Roshina Ratnam
  • Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Diverse, dark-humored, and deliciously bite-sized: JT Lawrence ratchets up the tension with this compelling collection of short stories perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Roald Dahl. "Gatsby’s Double" - An artist’s Pomeranian has been replaced by an imposter. "Court, Marry, Kill" - Whose body ends up being unzipped by fish on the ocean floor? "Rockabye Baby" - A female-only cult has a very dark side. "He Did It" - A detective relies on his gut (and his hallucinations) to help him solve murder cases.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great mix

  • By TG on 20-09-18

OMG!!!!

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

I want to get first things first; Roshina Ratnam is like a super narrator. I will never, ever be able to listen to a South African book if she hasn't narrated it. She's flipping marvellous and deserves an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a £50 Marks and Spencer's voucher for her contribution to JT Lawrence's writing. They are the peaches and cream of audio books. Now, onto the short stories. I feel it only fair to point out that I HATE short stories, novellas and their ilk. I feel short changed, I always want more and end up frustrated. OK, this was no exception, I did want more, I'm just not sure my brain could have coped with it. JT Lawrence has, once again, totally messed with my head. Is this writer actually in league with psychiatrists? I swear, by the time I'd finished all 12 short stories I was no longer sure which way was up, where I lived, what the year was or even if I knew my own name. I mean, I know what people called me, but is that me or a different person altogether. I don't even trust the reflection in the mirror any more. (It definitely can't be me, it's some old hag staring back at me). I'm pretty sure my dogs are Russian spies and somebody is putting something in my tea. The postman looks shifty and are the children living in my house really my children? I almost wish you could get this audio book on vinyl, because if you played it backwards there's probably a subliminal message there. And, to add to all this mayhem, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! It may take me a week or so to get my equilibrium back, (and I'm always going to keep a close eye on the postman), but JT Lawrence has done it again! 5 big, fat juicy stars and 10mg diazepam from me! I'm off for a lie down!