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  • 194
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  • The Torment of Others

  • By: Val McDermid
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 517
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463

A dead girl lies on a blood-soaked mattress, her limbs spread in a parody of ecstasy. The scene matches a series of murders which ended with the conviction of Derek Tyler. But Tyler's been locked up in a mental institution for two years, barely speaking a word. Criminal psychologist Dr Tony Hill thinks this is not a copycat murder but something much stranger. Hill heads towards a terrifying face-off with one of the most perverse killers he has ever encountered….

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A bit predictable

  • By Amanda on 18-10-17

The unexpected twist turned out as expected

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

A nice story that builds well. The plot twists were a little predictable including the main one - the sign posts were a bit too obvious. Good character development of the expert but insufficient for much sympathy to grow for the victim.

  • Mercy

  • Department Q, Book 1
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,778
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,606
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,603

The unabridged, digital audiobook edition of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Mercy, Scandinavia’s new bestselling crime phenomenon. Read by the actor Steven Pacey. At first the prisoner scratches at the walls until her fingers bleed. But there is no escaping the room. With no way of measuring time, her days, weeks, months go unrecorded. She vows not to go mad. She will not give her captors the satisfaction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Danish Noire superbly read by Steven Pacey

  • By Nick on 08-02-13

The only one needing mercy was the reader.

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

With the ending written all over the start and the middle it was hard to get concerned about the victim. Initially you are have great concern but the rapid dismissing of months and years removed the connection with the torment and disconnected you from victim. The investigator and his side-kick invoked more sympathy and might make me give them another chance. The illness hanging over the investigator was a potential cliff hanger but was not presented in a way that got me to the edge of my seat - the outcome was too evident in the flow of the story. Lots of promise but instead of suspense there was only a cry for mercy for the missed opportunity.

  • The Rooster Bar

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 835
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 754

Law students Mark, Todd and Zola wanted to change the world - to make it a better place. But these days these three disillusioned friends spend a lot of time hanging out in The Rooster Bar, the place where Todd serves drinks. As third-year students, they realise they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grisham Raises The Bar

  • By Simon on 20-10-17

Rooster went all limp.

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

High expectations given the author were heightened at the start leading to the first death. However, it went down hill from there. A number of courtroom plot developments fizzled out. Much of suspense and "will they get caught" risks typical of John Grisham's novels did not build to any extent. The main characters felt thin and with one exception did not lead you to want them to "get away with it". I was not worried about the risks of them getting caught - it never seemed a much of a risk and in the end I did not care if they ended badly. The sudden end was unsatisfactory and felt like a "times up" move to put this poor story down as quickly as possible.

  • La Belle Sauvage

  • The Book of Dust, Volume 1
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,339
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,938
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,928

Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust series. Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping Story, Great Narrator

  • By Lorenzo on 21-10-17

OK story working too hard to join the series

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

Reviewed: 15-01-19

Enjoyed listening to this and finding more about Lara. The core story was OK. However, overall it was rather thin on plot, the other characters felt under developed and left me a little short changed. Maybe expectations were just too high after the three original books.

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,109

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tchaikovsky is still writing Symphonies!

  • By Simon on 11-05-17

Good story concepts but lost in the journey

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

Reviewed: 18-11-18

Starts well with dramatic and explosive start. Disappointingly the story line from the start does not develop or provide a significant input to the rest of the story. However, the strong main story is marred by the dramatic start. The two threads of the main story develop nicely with some interesting twists, but throughout you can feel disconnected from the dramatic start and waiting for it to intersect. Instead you get a soft all lived happily ever after end.

  • Black Box Thinking

  • The Surprising Truth About Success
  • By: Matthew Syed
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,333

Columnist for The Times and best-selling author of Bounce: The myth of talent and the power of practice, Matthew Syed argues that the key to success is a positive attitude to failure. What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Dave Braisford's Team Sky and the aviation industry?What is the connection between the inventor James Dyson and the footballer David Beckham? They are all Black Box Thinkers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book about learning from mistakes

  • By Kenny Marshall on 09-10-16

Good ideas well presented but closed-open is wrong

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

Some good thinking is well presented with some nice drama to support the narrative. Has given me pause for thought at a number of points - oh how fallible we all are! It was all marred by the blatant and acknowledged swapping of open loop and closed loop with that established in engineering.
Apologies for taking this to task but it is important. This swap would appear to go against his own thinking of applying science, testing and feedback and take it away from scientific thinking. Both engineering terms were selected for good reasons which align to their imagery. His choice of closed loop sort of works but open loop just does not.

  • Oathbringer

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book Three
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 55 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,013
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,835
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,837

From the best-selling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters and sheer addictiveness. Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artefacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sanderson brewing up a hell of a storm!

  • By Simon on 22-11-17

More stormlight, blades and unseen influences

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

Starts well with all the usual themes from the series. Good characters and plot development lead to who knows where. In the end if has that feel that no one was really sure where that is.

  • Look to Windward

  • Culture Series, Book 7
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 571
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573

It was one of the less glorious incidents of a long-ago war. It led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, 800 years later, the light from the first of those ancient mistakes has reached the Culture Orbital, Masaq. The light from the second may not.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic book, expertly delivered by Peter Kenny.

  • By Marc on 22-05-14

Another good book in the culture series

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

I always enjoy the performance of Peter Kenny of Culture stories.
The story has all the usual threads of culture minds, scheming and events.

  • Blood & Sand

  • By: Frank Gardner
  • Narrated by: Alistair Petrie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

On June 6th 2004, in a quiet suburb of Riyadh, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers were filming a programme on al-Qaeda when they were ambushed by Islamic gunmen. Simon was killed outright. Frank was shot and lay pleading for his life. A figure pumped four more bullets into his body at point blank range. Against all the odds, he survived. This is the remarkable account of his agonising journey to where he is today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • gripping and enlightening

  • By Margaret on 15-01-11

Loved hearing about his other world.

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

Reviewed: 17-11-18

Really enjoyed the view into Frank's life and his insights into Arabic life. The long lead in from his early years to the tragedy that changed his life built up a great picture. The culmination of all the stories was captivating and left me wanting to know more about this other world. To give colour to the stories a fair number of names dropped in here and there. However, if you don't recognise them already they will not stay with you so well in a talking book as they do when reading on the page. The end tailed off rather suddenly leaving me (and I guess him) uncertain about his future.

  • Magpie Murders

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Allan Corduner, Samantha Bond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,559
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,288

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years, and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway.... But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who? How? Where & Why?

  • By Mrs Q on 10-10-16

Story within a story delivers nicely on both.

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

Reviewed: 22-04-18

What did you like best about Magpie Murders? What did you like least?

Once the author became detective there were too many places I wanted to shout ideas at the player. Before that I liked the ambling approach of Mr Punt as a detective.

Would you recommend Magpie Murders to your friends? Why or why not?

Its a light read that will provide a diversion for a few hours.

Which character – as performed by Allan Corduner and Samantha Bond – was your favourite?

Sadly I gave little thought to who lived or died, except the Greek boyfriend. There were certainly some unpleasant characters who you were meant to not like, but most of the others did not attract a great deal more sympathy.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

With some adaptation.