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Melanie Preston Lewis

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Sam Williams becomes a man!

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

Reviewed: 28-05-20

What a marvellous turn of events. No One Will Hear picks up where Dead North finished. Sam Williams is back in London, and despite the shocking incidents in Manchester, he is still a somewhat shallow and callow man. He's holding on to old grudges and falls back into familiar patterns. However, as the story plays out, circumstances force Sam to grow up, to stop his tendency towards narcissism and look at the bigger picture. This Sam does, and I wanted to jump up and cheer when he stepped up and became the kind of man you can depend on. Although the plot line around Claire, his girlfriend, is probably considered the minor sub plot, it had a huge impact on me. I wasn't sure how Sam Williams would cope with Claire in her new state. It was so overwhelmingly gratifying to see a writer who allowed his character to grow and develop into a more substantial, deeper, thoughtful man. I loved it and ensures that I will stick with Sam Williams forever. Andrew Calverley delivers a perfect performance and his comic timing guarantees we get the most from Joel Hames' dark and witty humour. A delightful book that I'm thrilled to recommend.

Pure joy

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

Reviewed: 27-05-20

I know we're looking at horrible murders and people generally behaving abhorrently but I just LOVE these books. I save them for whenever I'm feeling a bit down or having a listening slump. Then, within a few minutes of Jonathan Keeble reading LJ Ross' exquisite writing, all is good in the world again. The characterisation is so sublime, so perfect, I'm managed to convince myself that I've met Denise and Frank, Anna and Ryan. In fact, I'm pretty sure I went to their weddings. The friendship between the two couples is the perfect foil for the evil in the world. It's like getting together will old friends who you don't see often enough and remembering how much you love being in their company. LJ Ross has hit on the perfect formula for an excellent book. Long may it continue.

Heartbreaking

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

Reviewed: 22-05-20

A well thought out, far too realistic, heartbreaking tale of forced marriage of a young woman brought up in Western society. Although upsetting, it's a fascinating listen and we need authors who are prepared to speak out about this terrible abuse if we ever have any chance of stopping it happening again and again.

Precious

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

Reviewed: 18-05-20

Here I am at book 4 in the Damien Dickens Mysteries; only 1 more to go, which is making me feel sad. I've grown fond of Damien 'Dick' Dickens and his wife, Millie, along with the supporting cast of Gus, Bruno and Sarah. This particular story is a little less cosy than the earlier books. There are some very sad and very troubling moments along the way. Once again Millie proves her wit and intellect are more than a match for any man. Being set in the 1980s is lovely. It reminds me of a simpler time, when we used phone books for addresses and looked up information in a library. This series has proven to be a precious gem and I have thoroughly enjoyed every book. I love listening to the cases and Mr and Mrs Dickens resolution of them. Treat yourself to these books, I highly recommend them.

Beautiful and expressive

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

Reviewed: 13-05-20

Iain Maitland manages to express the depth of his love for his son incredibly eloquently

Excellent story

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

Reviewed: 12-05-20

If you want to appreciate how far we've progressed, this is the story for you

Compulsive capering

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

Reviewed: 21-04-20

This series keeps getting better and better. This book sees some very dodgy dealing indeed, as well as the first hint of disharmony in the relationship between Damien and Millie. The investigation into fraudulent business practices has a few, at first appearance, disparate threads. But with her usual flair and finesse, Ms Entis enticingly weaves each thread together for a final reveal of a beautiful tapestry. Then, just as you're starting to relax and commending Dick and Millie on a job well done, a great big, ginormous spanner gets thrown in the works. Now I'm on tenterhooks waiting for book 4. Harry Dyson turns in another excellent performance in a series I have grown to love. Applause all round for this great story.

Uplifting

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

Reviewed: 21-04-20

I bought the ebook of Unbroken a while ago, but when I discovered that Ms Black was releasing an audio version, I held off reading it as I wanted to listen to it first. The first few chapters had me reeling. Ms Black and I were both 13 years old in 1979, we both lived in North London, we socialised in the same places. My father was also a holocaust survivor and I travelled to Israel in my late teens to 'get my head sorted'. What was clear that in those days, women had very little power against men. The rape and attempted murder of Ms Black was harrowing to hear. However, if she can live through it, the least I could do to honour her courage was listen to it. I didn't cry then, but I did when she moved on to the forgiveness element of her story. I was overcome emotionally by how she rebuilt her life, brick by brick and spent a great deal of last night and this morning, sobbing. Not from sadness, but from awe at this remarkable woman's bravery and her determination to recover and be whole again. We bandy the word 'inspirational' around far too easily today - but this is so deeply moving and so fulsome in its telling of healing that there is no other word for it. I don't believe I have the words to properly explain how shaken I was by Ms Black's story. This woman has risen like a phoenix from the flames to lead us, by her example, in how we humans should treat each other. She must have the most enormous heart, full of love and forgiveness. I am humbled by her grace, her generosity of spirit, her strength of character and her capacity to forgive. Listening to Unbroken may be extremely difficult in places but in comparison to Ms Black's achievements - it's really not; we should consider it a privilege and an honour to hear her story and to understand how vital forgiving those who trespass against us, really is. I must end this review by expressing my gratitude to Ms Black for her candour, her dedication to forgiveness and her solicitude of other survivors. This world is a richer place because people like her exist in it and demonstrate human kindness. Thank you for being you.

Best show on earth

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

Reviewed: 17-04-20

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven is SUPERB. I have read the book and I have listened to the audio book, more than once and with every read/listen, I enjoy it more and more. The pairing of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw makes them the best duo since Morecambe and Wise. Poe is such an interesting character and Mr Craven hints at many secrets contributing to his dark side. New discoveries are made, which may explain up to a point, but I have a feeling we have much more to learn about Detective Poe. This dark and disturbing story is made palatable by the interactions between the main protagonists and as their investigation proceeds, it draws the listener in, completely captivating in its telling. John Banks narration is excellent throughout. The book is written in such a way I felt like I was one of the crime fighting posse and every setback was my setback, every success - my success. I have no doubt I will listen to this book again and again to experience the joy of the brilliant writing. Reading/listening doesn't get any better than this.

1 person found this helpful

Should be available on prescription

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

Reviewed: 04-04-20

The second book in the Damien Dickens series is, if possible, even better than the first. Damien and Millie are now happily married. Damien takes on a new case thanks to the affected and snobby Stephane, and disappears. Then Millie steps up, and with Bruno by her side she kicks some butts, works out what's going on and generally sorts out all the men and gets them organised. I love Millie, I'd like her to be my best friend. The story is a mystery and there's that element to work out. What I love is the warmth and dignity of Millie and the love between her and Damien. A warm feeling encompassed me when I was listening and it genuinely lifted me out of my "I've been stuck indoors for weeks fug" and cheered me up no end. But just when you've eaten a delicious meal at Phyllis Entis' table and couldn't possibly squeeze in one more tasty treat, she serves up a surprise, so unexpected, so perfect and fabulous that my heart soared. I swear I could see fairies flying around a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after listening to the bonus story you are gifted at the end of The White Russian Caper. Ms Entis, you have achieved something that none of my children or my grandchild or any of my much loved friends and family haven't been able to do for weeks, you made me smile and you repaired my sore and bruised heart. Absolute heaven.