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  • reviews
  • 66
  • helpful votes
  • 42
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  • Dear Amy

  • By: Helen Callaghan
  • Narrated by: Helen Baxendale, John Sackville, Laura Aikman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,472
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,466

Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received: 'Dear Amy, I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me. Please help me soon, Bethan Avery.' Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades. This is surely some cruel hoax. But as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommend it

  • By Miko on 22-06-16

REALLY predictable

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

So I assumed that we were all supposed to know the “secret” (won’t say more in case anyone out there manages to get through more than 2 chapters without figuring it out!) and that it was only the narrator who didn’t know. I was waiting for the other twist.


There wasn’t one. Could see *exactly* where this was going from the start.

The writing was disjointed and characters didn’t always behave naturally (the “big secret” aside) - as a listen it was passable but only just

  • The Sunday Lunch Club

  • By: Juliet Ashton
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 466

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is...don't make any afternoon plans.  

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it's said in the wrong way.   

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of 40. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.  

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?  

Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears. Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I just loved this book

  • By Mary Bolch on 27-06-18

Meh...

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

Reviewed: 31-03-19

It’s okay. Nothing ground breaking.

The narrator is mostly quite good but really couldn’t do the accents required without resorting to rather clichéd sing-sing vocal inflections.

It’s okay, not a genre I usually enjoy but there are some solid offerings out there (so I chanced it, mostly based on the write-up) this isn’t one of them, though. There’s nothing awful or offensive about it, just... meh.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I Owe You One

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 562
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 497
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 494

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely there stain, helping out a friend...she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU - but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Really disappointed

  • By Victoria on 15-02-19

Really disappointed

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

Reviewed: 15-02-19

As a hardcore fan of Sophie Kinsella, I was massively disappointed by this one (having waited for it as a preorder)

It lacked any of the charm that her previous novels have had, the characters were all deeply unappealing except for The Love Interest who was just a bit dull.

The narration was only okay - leaning heavily towards cliché and caricature for all except the two main characters - but her portrayal of the heroine’s sister was just embarrassing.

Having bravely pushed on through 3/4 of it and realising that I no longer cared what happened to any of them, I ended up returning the book for a refund of my audible credit - something I’ve done only a handful of times in my years with audible.

If you want the very lightest, least challenging and most one-dimensional of chick-lit then this might float your boat but even for that purpose there are dozens of other books that do it better.

I can only hope this is a blip because I have always enjoyed her previous novels (albeit that recent shopaholic offerings have been weaker than the earlier instalments)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer

  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Penelope Keith
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 137

The team of bells at St. Ethelred church is the pride and glory of the idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna, together with the most dedicated bell ringers in the whole of England: the twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin. As the village gets ready for the Bishop's visit, the twins get overly excited at the prospect of ringing the special peal of bells created for the occasion and start bullying the other bell ringers, forcing them to rehearse and rehearse...so much so that Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer, yells at the sisters that he 'felt like killing them'! 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A disappointing instalment

  • By Victoria on 10-12-18

A disappointing instalment

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I’ve written rave reviews about Agatha Raisin in the past. I understand that the stories are generally quite gentle and lacking in gore and massive plot twists but that has always been part of their charm.

This time, I start to feel like the series might be running out of steam. The plot was shallow, but historically that’s not been a deal breaker for Ms Raisin’s capers. This one, though, lacked any of the charm that previous instalments have. The characters were unlovely; Agatha herself was all over the place; there were few belly-laugh moments and Agatha’s (dare I suggest Ms Beaton’s?!) prejudiced and very old-fashioned views on any number of topics really began to make for uncomfortable listening (again, I feel bad for criticising the book now for something that has always been a feature, but it seems more pronounced now and less like a deliberately-written character flaw of the often curmudgeonly protagonist)

I was so pleased to see that the new Agatha Raisin had been released and really looked forward to a weekend of listening to Agatha’s latest antics... sadly it really failed to live up to expectation.

I feel like a real cow for saying this but Penelope Keith even seemed aware that the book wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders as her, usually excellent, narration seemed a bit lacking too.

All in all, if you’re a die-hard fan then go for it, but don’t expect it to be as enjoyable as its predecessors. If you’ve not heard of Agatha before now then I strongly recommend that you go back to the start and listen to Quiche Of Death, which is much more fun than this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • 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 5,275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,828
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,813

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.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very disappointing

  • By DartmoorDiva on 09-09-18

Richard Armitage can’t save this one

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I have NO idea what the hype is about this one.

Richard Armitage’s performance is good but the writing is SHOCKING - it is like a check list of lazy thriller cliches stacked one on top of the other. And once she’s come across a phrase she’s proud of, she really likes to get her money’s worth out of it (if she used “saline liquid” in place of “tears” once then she used it a dozen times)

I found myself actually wincing and shouting as she stamped through one cliche after another.

If it is later revealed that this was written by an algorithm, I will be found on the nearest rooftop screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!!!”

Possibly the worst thing I’ve listened to on audible (and my library has 400+ finished titles in it - I think I’ve returned only 4 titles out of all of those and this was one of them) I kept going purely because of Richard Armitage and all the hype it had received - I kept waiting for it to get better. Take my word for it; it doesn’t get better.

Do. Not. Buy.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Blood Sisters

  • By: Jane Corry
  • Narrated by: Zoe Thorne, Emilia Fox
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 744
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 678
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 675

Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning. Within an hour one of them is dead. Fifteen years later Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her there or her life before it. Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up, she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right. But someone is watching Kitty and Alison. Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day. And only another life will do....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Okay

  • By Ariana on 24-08-17

Lots of promise, but ultimately implausible

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Emilia Fox as a narrator is, as you’d expect, excellent (Which is why I’ve rated the narration as 4*). Sadly the same cannot be said for her counterpart who portrays the inner monologue of Kitty. Irritating baby voice (entirely unnecessary and, actually, quite patronising. As the story regularly points out; kitty isn’t a child) and regular misreading (at one point describing how Margaret is “painting, like when she is finding it hard to breathe.” Errrr, “panting” perhaps?!) not to mention getting the balance of too many sentences wrong (wrong inflection and intonation; emphasising the wrong part with alarming regularity).

This would have been irritating but not a deal breaker. Indeed, initially I was enjoying the unfolding story and thought it had a lot of promise. By mid way, however, as the various mysteries started to come together, it became clear that they were going to be resolved through a series of utterly implausible coincidences. Some of these coincidences were related to each other; some were entirely independent of each other (making it all the more unlikely).

The last 1/5 of the book or so is just overkill. At this point Colombo is referenced and that is how it starts to feel; “..just one more thing...” by the time the main character announces hat she has “one last secret” I heard myself audibly groan!

Can’t really recommend this one

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Teacher

  • A Shocking and Compelling New Crime Thriller That's Not for the Faint-Hearted
  • By: Katerina Diamond
  • Narrated by: Stevie Lacey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 476
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 474

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You're wrong.... The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall. Hours earlier he'd received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end. As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I couldn't wait....,

  • By pixie on 08-10-16

Exceedingly disappointing

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

Reviewed: 03-09-17

I'm irritated with myself for pushing through to the end of this one.

The performance was okay; a bit monotone in most parts and a really quite amateur dramatics as soon as any emotion was called for (emotion, whatever variety it was supposed to be, all came out as shouty and forced, like someone reading capital letters)

The writing was what really let the whole thing down. Heavy on clichéd phrases, poor use of sentence structure, adjectives etc and some really embarrassing parts in which the writer had obviously hit the thesaurus and come up with synonyms of just slightly the wrong shade of meaning. There was also massive repetition of phrases that the author obviously felt proud of (tears were almost always "the saline liquid").

Essentially the writing was poor and the narration sufficiently below average that I was entirely distracted from any illusion of reality.

This might have been just as well, however, because the story line was beyond poor. There seems to be some sort of misconception that by coming up with violently shocking scenes a storyline will write itself around them. I am perfectly at peace with violence in thrillers when it's justified within the context of a clever and engaging storyline. This was neither. It's fairly obvious from the first chapter what is going on and, except for the fleshing out of a few details (which is pretty much done by half way through) the reader is never really given any more than that. Sadistic brutes being bumped off by their only surviving victim in a manner which reflects their crimes. By dint of the fact that there are only a handful of characters in this novel (and the writer is in no way subtle about "goodies" and "baddies") it's immediately clear who is the avenging angel and who is in league with his victims.

Essentially I wasted a couple of days listening time because I felt I had to give it more than just one chapter before giving up and writing a stinker review... then I felt like I'd committed enough time that I might as well plough on in hopes of a clever twist or denouement at the end. There wasn't one.

Learn by my mistakes. Save yourself the time, money (/credit) and listen to a Stuart Macbride instead.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Good Me Bad Me

  • By: Ali Land
  • Narrated by: Hannah Murray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,295

Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way Annie can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. The secrets of her past won't let her sleep, even with a new family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now surely she can be whomever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Download this book NOW

  • By Anne on 23-01-17

Narrator KILLED this for me

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

Reviewed: 17-01-17

Within five minutes I was wondering whether I'd be able to listen to the end of the chapter; pathetic, feelingless monotone. I understand that this can be done for effect - the narrator is numbed by her horrific early experiences - but, for the love of mercy, don't inflict it on the listener.

Tone livens up a bit as the story progresses but not much and it's a BIG deal to an audiobook.

My strong recommendation would be to read the book, not listen to the audiobook.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • I See You

  • By: Clare Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,652
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,650

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website - just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I See Something Very, Very Impressive Here!

  • By Simon on 28-07-16

Complete rubbish, don't bother.

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

Reviewed: 15-08-16

Slow to start, then it picks up (hurrah!) then stupid ending. Total waste of time!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Man Called Ove

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Joan Walker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,890
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,741
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,744

Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He isn't as young as he used to be. He drives a Saab. He points at people he doesn't like the look of. He is described by those around his as 'the neighbour from hell'.Every morning he makes his inspection rounds of the local streets. He moves bicycles and checks the contents of recycling bins, even though it's been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents' Association in a vicious 'coup d'état'.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All you need is Ove

  • By Kaggy on 22-09-14

Everyone has a story if we take time to listen

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

Reviewed: 04-08-16

It took time to understand this grumpy old man but he had a big heart that he couldn't ignore. This book shows that when communities come together a real difference can be made. I loved it's messages