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Narrator is the best thing about it.

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

Reviewed: 30-05-20

This isn’t as great as the other reviews lead you to believe or maybe I’m just harder to please. This is listenable but it’s also nonsense. Normally I’d explained in my more detail how I felt about a book but this one doesn’t warrant anymore of my attention. Suffice it to say that the narrator makes a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Deadly in all the worst places.

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

Reviewed: 30-05-20

By that I mean there is little to redeem this book. The plot’s convoluted and predictable, the characters are stuffed to the gunwhales with cliches, and the dialogue is ponderous. The grating monotone of the narrator made a bad story worse.

Average at best

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

Reviewed: 04-05-20

I was expecting more, I’ll be honest. The reviews are on the ‘rave’ side on Audible and I’m starting to believe they’re manipulating the ratings somehow.
We all know Horowitz is a prolific and popular writer and this book is entertaining enough, the plot twisty enough, the characters diverse enough to not fall into too many cliches (although many stereotypes are still evident) but only just enough. It’s not as fabulous as most of the reviews will lead you to believe.
The fact that the author places himself centrally in this novel may have been intended to be original simply comes across as egotistical.

The narrator is fine but often sounds as unmoved by this book as this reader was.

Painful

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

Reviewed: 02-05-20

There's absolutely nothing good to say about this book.

We went our seperate ways after the main character bemoaned political correctness. If political correctness is the term misogynists use for valuing women only by their breast size and skill with soft furnishings then thank god for everything that's p.c.

The narrator surely thinks this is a children's book from his reading style - and I'm not sure I disagree with him - he clearly found it as painful to read as I did to listen.

Police procedural with absolutely no pro

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

Reviewed: 29-04-20

If you're used to reading well researched police procedurals by knowledgeable writers then this boook will simply annoy you, as it did me. I have read precocious children's writing with more depth than this.

It's the total lack of realism that's the problem: most of the plot reads as simply guess work as to how policing might be done. Not just this though, the characters are stereotypical in all the wrong ways: the 'girls' flirtacious and inexperienced, completely reliant on the 'men' to lead the way. The dialogue is also ridiculous - I definietly caught a 'very well' being used instead of O.K and 'if you please' instead of please; it's the 21st century for goodness sake.

If it weren't for the sterling work of Johnathan Keeble this book would have come across as a parody and I'm frankly offended that this is presented as something that people should pay money for.

Listenable nonsense

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

Reviewed: 02-04-20

I fell asleep for two hours during this audiobook and it is a mark off its caliber that I didn’t bother rewinding it - the gap didn’t hinder my understanding of the plot one iota. Far too draw out, peppered with poorly judged lectures and expositions and sexist to boot.
The narrator, gets a medal for making it listenable.

Whispering, damned whispering!

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

Reviewed: 06-03-20

It's beginning to dawn on me that radio plays that are transferred to audiobook are an abomination.

It seems there are two main problems:
One, an imbalance in voice versus foley work - i.e the vocals are frustratingly drowned out by sound effects.
Two, the disproportionate use of hushed tones by the actors - not EVERYTHING can be that secret or intense can it?

For goodness sake, speak up!

1 person found this helpful

Yesterday's prose.

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

Reviewed: 23-01-20

This is a book but not a novel. The word novel implies something new or original and this story is far from that. In fact, the plot and characterisation in general is rather demode. It's not only that Lily is often reliant on the men around her, I assume the Victorian setting is a nod at making these stereotypes acceptable, but it is incongruous with the rest of her characterisation: we are supposed to believe Lily is able to defy convention so far as to set up her own private detective agency and hire a man as a subordinate and yet ,soon after, she often defers to him - it's confusing.

There are also clanging notes aplenty when the writer's choice of historical setting doesn't seem to have affected the modern morality that she peddles out. Writers can't select a historical period and then shoe-horn in modern scruples - it doesn't work. Why do so many writers patronise us in this way? We DO notice these incongruities.

It may just be me but I'm bored with being presented with these old gender tropes, even if it is in a crinoline. I don't want to see fainting females coddled or bullied or even validated by the men around them - give me something novel. Please.

Guff

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

Reviewed: 18-01-20

Predictable chick-lit with dated gender stereotyping made ‘acceptable’ through a quasi-historical format. The plot was randomly pock-marked with so many ‘twists’ that the writer is clearly motivated by the juvenile concept that size matters. She is sadly mistaken.

The narrator is alright but has an annoying habit of emphasising conjunctions as a way of hiding the ‘breath break’ - she needs to go back to elocution lessons: emphasise words with MEANING not the ones that merely indicate a link between meaning.

Cosy in all the right places.

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

Reviewed: 09-01-20

This is a perfect book to relax to: Engaging enough to not be mere white noise but not dark enough to trouble your mind. The partnership of Sarah and Jack is now long standing and platonic so that the listener is not bothered by romantic angst. In addition to this, Sarah and Jack both bring different strengths to the table, so on all counts this a partnership in the proper sense of the word and it’s great to see a buck in the stereotypes even with this supposedly ‘light’ fiction.

The narrator is not only completely suited to this genre (and very experienced within in) but has a beautiful timbre, too.