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Robert Macdonald

York, England
  • 20
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 310
  • ratings
  • The Rags of Time

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 6
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

Mark Randall lay dead in a field near Lowacre long before Smith had done what he had to do in Belfast. By the time he went back to work, the investigation was well underway. "It's not my case," he says more than once, and he really doesn't need it to be; he has enough to think about as it is. But going around the Norfolk countryside dotting the i's and crossing the t's, speaking to the local farmers and the Brothers of St. Francis from Abbeyfields, Smith begins to suspect that the investigation might be heading in entirely the wrong direction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another thoughtful cracker

  • By Robert Macdonald on 20-03-19

Another thoughtful cracker

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

Reviewed: 20-03-19

I love the language and DC’s thoughtful, relentless approach. I sincerely hope that retirement is a long way off.

  • An Accidental Death

  • A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 1
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48

The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex-DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Plodding In Fine Style!

  • By Simon on 27-08-16

Excellent in every way.

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

Reviewed: 04-02-19

When I first heard this I was not completely convinced by the narrator’s style or the initial scenes. My big mistake! I quickly realised this was a top notch book with clever nuances and a very good narrator whose technique matched the character of “DC” Smith perfectly. I was hooked! Smith continued to surprise me and I really enjoyed his fatherly, professional approach to his new protege. No gore, foul language or untoward violence, except when he beautifully dealt with muscled ex-squadie. Perfect! Highly recommended.

  • The Hanged Man

  • By: Simon Kernick
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 351
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346

A house deep in the countryside where the remains of seven unidentified women have just been discovered. A cop ready to risk everything in the hunt for their killers. A man who has seen the murders and is now on the run in fear of his life. So begins the race to track down this witness before the killers do. For Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd, the road ahead is a dangerous one, with bodies and betrayal at every turn....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Fantastic....!

  • By Salter on 27-11-17

Fairly good but implausible.

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

Reviewed: 30-01-19

I generally like Simon Kernick and was pleased when I happened on the 2nd instalment of the Bone Field killings. I found this one though a little bit implausible, the results and how it all fitted together so snugly. Ray Mason gets the job done, but he’s not likeable. I found the character too ready to justify his killings and that grated a bit. He reminds me of Tony Parsons “Max Wolf” who is a far more empathetic character and as a result you are on his side.
The narrative was good but I really do dislike “Lootenant” by a British narrator doing his London best. When did the USA enter this story?
Having had a moan I will listen to the next book, not with baited breath, but to see how it turns out and how the baddies get their comeuppance.

  • How to Be a Footballer

  • By: Peter Crouch
  • Narrated by: Peter Crouch
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,024
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 910
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904

Towering at six feet seven inches, Crouch is prized for his self-deprecating humour, having famously answered the question “what would you be if you weren’t a footballer?” with the one liner “a virgin”. At the same time, he has had an incredible career, from World Cups to Champions League finals. He has scored more headed goals than anyone else in Premiership history and has a better goals-to-minute on the pitch ratio for England than even Michael Owen. A humble professional with a great sense of humour, Crouch is one of the few players that is liked by fans of all clubs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best footy book I’ve read in ages

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-12-18

Different, but.........

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

Reviewed: 20-12-18

Peter has written a different autobiography from most of the footballers rather staid rubbish, but I grew tired of the excesses and childishness of his chosen profession. As a Liverpool fan I enjoyed his admiration of Stevie G, but a lot of it fell flat. I was originally tempted to listen to the book by so many positive reviews and his self-effacement is charming and he comes across as a humorous, self deprecating, modest man. Full credit to him. His generalisations, eg no-one with intelligence could possibly succeed as they would overthink the game is belied by Steve Heighway, Brian Hall, Frank Lampard and Graeme le Saux who are errudite well educated players who succeeded at the highest level. It speaks volumes that some branded Le Saux as homosexual because he was well educated. Solve that one Peter! Another intelligent player who succeeded is Pat Nevin, TV pundit and Chief Executive of Motherwell FC.
Perhaps I'm guilty of generalisations too as I find so many football autobiographies tedious and prefer the servings of Rod Liddle!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Killing Habit

  • By: Mark Billingham
  • Narrated by: Mark Billingham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

From number one best seller Mark Billingham comes a twisting, unbearably gripping DI Tom Thorne and Nicola Tanner thriller inspired by a dramatic real-life case. How do you catch a killer who is yet to kill? We all know the signs. Cruelty, lack of empathy, the killing of animals. Now, pets on suburban London streets are being stalked by a shadow, and it could just be the start. DI Tom Thorne knows the psychological profile of such offenders all too well, so when he is tasked with catching a notorious killer of domestic cats, he sees the chance to stop a series of homicides before they happen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Always great!

  • By Nicola on 19-06-18

Good story but Mark is not the narrator for his own books.

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

I always enjoy Thorne's problems and this did not disappoint, but I feel a better narrator would have complimented his series far better.

  • Summary Justice

  • By: John Fairfax
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 358

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson, she was a law student on work experience. He was a 21-year-old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him. Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book for a very long time. And I'm 67.

  • By Grumpy Scot on 12-03-17

Totally enthralling

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

Reviewed: 13-07-18

My wife and I listened to this book on our way north to Dornoch. It became the must listen to on every journey and boy did we both enjoy it. Started on the Friday, next purchase Blind Defence on the Tuesday! Great narration and the tension plus surprises were brilliant! Hope the next book holds the same promise. Both of us totally hooked by the characters.

  • The Battle of the Atlantic

  • How the Allies Won the War
  • By: Jonathan Dimbleby
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Dimbleby
  • Length: 20 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Battle of the Atlantic, written and read by Jonathan Dimbleby. The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant but faulty editing

  • By Paul J Day on 29-01-16

Very good in depth study

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

Reviewed: 13-05-18

Dimbleby covers the whole battle extremely well, however I found some omissions that needed expanding, Eg the sinking of the Tirpitz. All in all a very good book. I found the narrators pronunciation inconsistent eg Lieutenant in the British navy being pronounced Lootenant(US) very annoying. He covered the US, German and French pronunciations very well, but our own! Did everyone think it was England who fought the war......no Scottish or Welsh or Irish? I’d have much preferred British Navy rather than just English. Some editing problems too, but I’m nitpicking on a very thorough coverage which I did enjoy.

  • Conclave

  • By: Robert Harris
  • Narrated by: Roy Mcmillan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,279
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,097
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,089

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarrely gripping

  • By Biker on 12-01-17

Absolutely brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 23-07-17

Would you listen to Conclave again? Why?

Never thought the election of the pope could have so many twists. The ending, what a complete surprise although the clues are there.

What did you like best about this story?

The slow build up and the twist at the end.

  • Separation of Power

  • Mitch Rapp Series
  • By: Vince Flynn
  • Narrated by: Ken Kliban
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152

Newly appointed CIA director Dr. Irene Kennedy is the target of an inside plot to destroy her and prematurely end the American President's term. To make matters worse, Saddam Hussein is close to entering the nuclear arms race - something Israel has vowed to stop. With the haunting specter of World War III looming, the president calls on his secret weapon: top counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp. But with only two weeks to take out the nukes, Rapp is up against a ticking clock - and impossible odds.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story poor narrator

  • By gary on 19-12-12

Good plot spoiled by awful narration

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

If you could sum up Separation of Power in three words, what would they be?

Could be better

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kennedy always seems to have that extra insight into the meanings of people's actions.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ken Kliban’s performances?

Will definitely avoid. Poor intonation, always seems as if a quiet statement is an argument. Dialogue perpetually ends on an upward inflection that I found initially irritating and eventually it spoiled the book. I won't listen to anything by this narrator again. Painful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Allan Quatermain

  • By: H. Rider Haggard
  • Narrated by: Bill Homewood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

We have met the intrepid hunter-tracker Allan Quatermain before, in H. Rider Haggard’s marvelous King Solomon’s Mines. This time, grieving from the tragic loss of his son, Quatermain longs to return to his beloved Africa. He sets out in search of a lost white tribe, the Zu-Vendis, ruled by two beautiful sister Queens. Once again, Quatermain’s companions are the indefatigable Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and the magnificent Zulu warrior Umslopogaas. The journey is incredibly dangerous, and thrillingly told.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bit of a blood bath

  • By Miss on 23-04-15

Still a cracking listen and read!

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

Reviewed: 21-12-15

What made the experience of listening to Allan Quatermain the most enjoyable?

I first read this about 50 years ago and I found it ticked all the boxes for adventure and excitement, now some of Haggard's views might make readers cringe with its non-PC, but what a great old fashioned adventure.

What other book might you compare Allan Quatermain to, and why?

King Soloman's Mines or any books by Raphael Sabatini. Slightly old fashioned but such adventure. The reader gives many of the characters forboding menace and belief. Certainly not a character to cross!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The battle scene when the Masai kidnapped the missionary's daughter. The reader gives Umslopogas the zulu such menace and confidence in victory. I loved the comment when on consideration he told Quatermein "I kill but do not murder. I kill in a fair fight, face to face!"

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found Allan Quatermain very compelling and excellent company in the car and on some long rambling dog walks.

Any additional comments?

Look for many of the unintended humourous comments in the narration.