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Hathor

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  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 65
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Cringingly awful

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

Reviewed: 06-04-20

I knew this would be light listening and that the story line would be of the 'cosy murders' type and was happy to try it out in the sale for under £3. After five minutes I was bored but persisted hoping that this was just the introductory stage and the story would get going and then an British Asian character was introduced and I was so shocked by the stereotypical accent (think 1980s comedy shows) that I started the book again wondering if I had mistaken this book for an ironical send up of British village life. Alas, no and so it is going back. The characters are flat, predictable and the plot is transparent and formulaic. I have no idea how this book received so many five star reviews.

2 people found this helpful

Third time lucky

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

Reviewed: 15-02-20

I was given the book ages ago and dived in only to come unstuck after the first chapter. Although the characters were interesting and the setting different to your run-of-the-mill mysteries I became indifferent to the characters and put the book down and forgot about it for a couple of months. I tried again but this time only getting as far as the second chapter and soon gave up giving the book to the charity shop.
I then saw the audiobook and thought I would give it one more try (I can't help it - I am naturally an optimist) and this time it clicked. The plot raced on but instead of getting lost I journeyed down the victorian streets with the main protagonist. I even laughed out loud once or twice at the absurdity of one of the characters and missed a bus stop because I was so engrossed in the storyline. The narrator does a good job with and has a soothing voice which is good when you listen to audiobooks to go to sleep. The plot whips along at speed and although there are some small inconsistencies in the plotting this doesn't take away from the narrative.
So why a 3 star review? Well it is a good book and if I could I would have given it 3.5 stars. But it is not a 4 or 5 star book as it is neither changed, challenged or informed the way I think and compared to authors such as Pratchett, Aaronovitch and Cornell for example, it just doesn't hit that top level of writing and world creating. I will get the second audiobook in the series and if that is good then the third but I certainly won't be buying the physical book.

Not even for a lazy day off

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

Reviewed: 15-02-20

This is a classic example of marmite as far as I am concerned with some people liking it and others not. Fair enough but what I don't understand is how this series gets such good reviews. The writing is predictable, the plot line is ... well predictable and this is from someone who is always the last to guess who is the murderer in any detective fiction. And as for the characters, I have no words. One dimensional, stereotypical and what's with calling the one mixed heritage person in the book a 'clean-head'? Logically this means that those who have hair are dirty heads? Even the cats are predictable. Yes I am aware off the irony behind my repeated use of the word predictable but it is a word that sums up the book and the narration, although merit has to be given to Finlay Robertson for trying to inject personality into the characters. Even if your aim is for a lazy read there are better books out there to try.

Disappointing listen

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

Reviewed: 14-02-20

I am a bit perplexed how this has received so many five star reviews. A lover of all things detective I was looking forward to this and it became my commuting audiobook but the writing is clunky, the plot is predictable and the characters have little depth to them. Ben Allen's narration was okay for the male led character but his female voices made me do a double take at first but then the females in this book have as much depth and reality to them as a dead slug. I bought Written In Dead Wax in the sale for £3 and struggled to finish it and after this review am returning the book.

Good narrator but average storyline

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

Reviewed: 10-07-19

I bought this because of a recommendation that said it was like the Lindsey Davis Falco series and because I am getting a bit desperate for well written, historically accurate series of books that I can get my teeth into. I really wanted to like this book, so much so that I tried listening to it multiple times but with each session I became frustratingly bored at the storyline, the lack of nuanced characters and the lack lustre enviroment and am returning it so I can purchase one of the SPQR books instead.

Don't be put off from trying it out, for me at least, it just didn't have enough to hold my interest but if you like mysteries set in ancient Greek times give it a go.

A mixed bag I am afraid

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

Reviewed: 25-02-19

The quantity is superb, full casts and good sound effects. It is the outdated ideas, preoccupations and language that got to me and, crucially for me, this is not something that would stand up to repeat listening so am going to return it.

2 people found this helpful

A step too far into fantasy village life

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

Reviewed: 29-12-17

Having previously enjoyed Cherringham audio books on the understanding that the stories and characters have very little to do with real life and that Neil Dudgeon's voice is great to listen to when trying to get to sleep I bought this volume on the 40% off offer. Despite this I am returning the book as the plots are now too unrealistic even for one who occasionally watches and sometimes enjoys Midsummer Murders! The characterisation is wooden and stereotypes abound. As a friend of a couple of nuns the last straw was the story in the convent which has little resemblance to reality. I shall have to go back to Agatha Christie novels and although I will miss the comforting tones of the narrator I do like my plots to have some foothold in reality. If you like easy going, not having to think too hard plots then the previous ones are worth trying but this is not.

2 people found this helpful

Excellent plot, well read, worth an audible credit

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

The Body in the Thames delivers a constant and evocative narrative full of atmospheric historical details from buildings to the importance of dress, manners and social standing to the lies and deceptions of governments.

The Body in the Thames is an excellent read and listen and I gave it five stars without hesitation. Griffin excels himself this time in his range of Anglo Dutch accents, which to my untutored ear all sound plausible and in giving the the cast, of which there are many, individual voices which helps to keep track of them all.

Without all the historical detail this would still be an excellent murder mystery - with it it is a delight to hear.

3 people found this helpful

Atmospheric narrative with good narrator

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

Reviewed: 12-11-17

Unlike Susanna Gregory's other series staring Matthew Bartholomew, the Thomas Chaloner 's books took me a while to get into as the main character is not an easy person to like, tending to be taciturn, remote and aloof, but, after all, Chaloner is a spy not a monk and a physician as in Gregory's other series.

The narration is good, with Gordon Griffin successfully managing an array of different accents and both female and male voices. The plot is solid, with good historic details and enough atmosphere for you to picture the scenes, smell the - often noxious - odours and understand that we are reading about a time that although is not that dissimilar from our own, is nevertheless different.

Not a five star review though as the plot is not one of the best in this long series but certainly worth a listen if you are working your way through all the books and it has stood up to repeated listens.

1 person found this helpful

Good story but terrible narration

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

Reviewed: 29-06-17

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book is well plotted and has good characterisation - it is the narration that really lets it down with uneven and sometimes damn strange interpretations of the main characters. If you enjoy murder mysteries with nice historical touches then I would recommend reading the book rather than listening to it.

What other book might you compare An Order for Death to, and why?

Sorry, didn't know how to answer this one.

How could the performance have been better?

Thorpes interpretation of some of the monks can be strange and in this particular case embarrassing. When voicing one of the adult monks, described in the book as the size of a child, Thorpe produces a high pitched whiney voice similar to a truculent two year old, making for a truly cringeworthy listen. I do like how he gives voice to Mathew Bartholomew, one of the main protagonists but remain unsure about the other, Brother Michael.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

In between the moments of cringing the story was interesting but I am returning the book as I can't bear to listen to the narrator anymore. For me this is one book I will stick to reading rather than listening.

Any additional comments?

The stories are getting better as they go along but the narrator killed this one for me I am afraid. I can only hope that somebody has a discreet word with Thorpe and tell him to adapt his narration style otherwise I may be returning a lot of audio books back to Audible.

1 person found this helpful