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Ross Bower

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Hard Frost

  • By: R. D. Wingfield
  • Narrated by: Robin Browne
  • Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Detective InspectorJjack Frost knelt down beside the tiny body. Who did this to you, sonny? he asked, his face tight with compassion. The boy was eight years old, bound and gagged, and stripped naked. He had been dead for some seven or eight hours. Frost should have been on holiday, he had sneaked back into the station late at night to help himself to some of Divisional Commander Mullett's cigarettes and this case had been dumped on him as no other officers were available. And then another boy is reported missing.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • starting to get a bit to repetitive

  • By Jennifer Chennell on 16-12-16

MISOGYNY AT ITS BEST!

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

Reviewed: 06-11-17

I simply cannot understand the high rating reviews here and on Amazon; Goodreads reviews are far more measured, many complaining at the negative, sexist references towards women, mainly by Frost, but seemingly compounded by a lot of his male co-workers. See also The Letterpress Project which succinctly describes how I feel about this type of writing. It's not often I delete downloads from Audible ... but this is a prime example. Hopefully these kind of references towards women will, eventually, be recognised for what they are ... mindless ignorance. With this subject being covered by Prime Time Media at the moment it illustrates how long this negativity towards women has been allowed to infiltrate society.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Stalkers

  • By: Paul Finch
  • Narrated by: Paul Thornley
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583

Time's up. You're Next. "All he had to do was name the woman he wanted. It was that easy. They would do all the hard work. "Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg is investigating the disappearance of 38 different women. Each one was happy and successful until they vanished without a trace. Desperate to find her missing sister, Lauren Wraxford seeks out Heck's help.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Cliffhanger to the end...

  • By wixey on 24-08-13

DREARY, STILTED NARRATION, POOR QUALITY PROSE

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

Reviewed: 15-08-17

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

Someone who hasn't listened to many Audible stories and is less discriminating.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paul Finch again?

No ... he and the narrator have had their chance!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Paul Thornley?

David Monteath, John Harvey, Ian Hanmore, James Cameron Stewart, Johnathan Keeble ... I could go on ... but won't bore you.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

To be honest, I really don't know. The narration is so stilted, with odd pauses, I find I am so critical it puts me off the story line. The quality of the writing, grammar especially, is so very basic I find my brain rearranging and embelishing sentences. In no way have I been "carried away" by the plot or narration.

Any additional comments?

I have downloaded 900 books from Audible, especially enjoying Scottish crime stories ... unfortunately this is not a book I would ever recommend and certainly not worth downloading let alone listening to.

  • The Riverman

  • By: Alex Gray
  • Narrated by: Joe Dunlop
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

When the dead body of a man is fished out of Glasgow's River Clyde the morning after an office celebration, it looks like a case of accidental death. An anonymous telephone call and a forensic toxicology test, however, give DCI Lorimer reason to think otherwise. Probing deeper into the life and business of the deceased accountant, Duncan Forbes, a seemingly upright member of the community, Lorimer finds only more unanswered questions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • excellent story.. excellently read

  • By graham on 19-03-17

WHAT A PITY

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

Reviewed: 12-08-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, the narration. Very poor, flat and unemotional to the point of boring.

If you’ve listened to books by Alex Gray before, how does this one compare?

I downloaded two Alex Gray, both narrated by Joe Dunlop. I think I might be interested in the plot line of the first book, but poor, dreadfully dull narration which finds me struggling to find the will to listen to the conclusion and reluctant to even bother to listen to the second book.

Would you be willing to try another one of Joe Dunlop’s performances?

Definitely not.

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

No

Any additional comments?

How could anyone even think such flat, dismal narration could carry this book?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Shadow in the North

  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,346
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,170

An elderly lady loses her money on an investment; a conjuror is pursued by thugs; and a clairvoyant mentions the name of the richest man in Europe and his mysterious company. Seemingly unconnected events set Sally Lockhart on the trail of an evil far more awful than she could ever imagine. This thriller, by the author of The Ruby in the Smoke, evokes its 19th century setting and at the same time remains remarkably contemporary in the originality of its plot and larger-than-life characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By mollyeyre on 04-03-18

NARRATOR DID THE BEST HE COULD

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

Reviewed: 23-06-17

What would have made The Shadow in the North better?

A more complicated text and plot.

Would you ever listen to anything by Philip Pullman again?

No.

Have you listened to any of Anton Lesser’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Anton Lesser is a brilliant narrator, which is why I downloaded Phillip Pullman's trilogy. However enticing the narrator the substance of the book was poor.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Shadow in the North?

This book and series was not for me. Was it written for a teenage audience?

Any additional comments?

I struggled to listen to the first in the series, and unfortunately thought downloading the next two would be a good idea. However long I persevered (I love the narrator) these books could not keep my attention. I assume they were written for a much younger, teenage, reader. The quality of writing was juvenile! I wish more than two reviews had picked this up and warned me of the quality of writing.

12 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Blind Eye

  • Logan McRae, Book 5
  • By: Stuart MacBride
  • Narrated by: Stuart MacBride
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 503
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 402

Aberdeen's growing Polish community is under attack from a serial offender who leaves mutilated victims to be discovered on building sites - eyes gouged out and the sockets burned. Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is assigned to the investigation, codenamed Operation Oedipus, but with the victims too scared to talk, it's going nowhere fast.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertainment at high speed!

  • By BlueQuill on 29-09-14

COULDN'T ENDURE THE SHOUTING AND POOR NARRATION

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

Reviewed: 15-06-17

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

Someone who doesn't get irritated at the verbal abuse and shouting. Someone who can believe in Inspector Steel without thinking "Is this meant to sound like a woman".

What was most disappointing about Stuart MacBride’s story?

Having listened to Cold Granite, narrated by Steve Worsley I thought this detective series was for me. Not wanting to listen to abridged versions I downloaded Blind Eye, narrated by Stuart McBride and found his reading so over the top I have stopped listening to the remainder. I also downloaded Shatter the Bones, narrated by Steve Worsley which I, hopefully, will enjoy. I have over 850 stories downloaded from Audible ... this rendition is one of the worst!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Stuart MacBride?

I enjoyed Cold Granite narrated by Steve Worsley who is far more in tune and sympathetic with the plot line and characters. He is believable ... the author's narration was awful.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Blind Eye?

Most of them were difficult to engage with because of my irritation with the narrator.

Any additional comments?

What a difference good narration makes to what could have been an entertaining and enjoyable series!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Sea Detective

  • By: Mark Douglas-Home
  • Narrated by: David Monteath
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 746

Cal McGill is an Edinburgh-based oceanographer, environmentalist and one-of-a-kind investigator. Using his knowledge of the waves - ocean currents, prevailing winds, shipping records - McGill can track where objects came from or where they've gone. It's a skill that can help solve mysteries ranging from disappearances to murder. Two severed feet wash up on two different islands off the coast of Scotland. Forensics shows that the feet belong to the same body.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story by a new author

  • By Renka on 24-01-16

ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING DOWNLOADS

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A completely different plot! How interesting are sea coordinates of tracing dismembered feet in trainers? I am not interested at all in how many spoons of instant coffee go into a mug half full of water. Far too much padding in a not very interesting plot. References to a size 18 woman having difficulty in getting in and out of chairs should be omitted as offensive to women. I know many size 18's who have no difficulty whatsoever sitting down, let alone standing up! As I listened I found myself wondering would the author have described a man in such terms?

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Douglas-Home again?

No.

What does David Monteath bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I downloaded this book purely on loving David Monteath's previous narrations. I will follow him but certainly not the author.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Sea Detective?

I would edit most scenes as I found them boring, overplayed, annoying and poorly written. The story drags on and on in a dreary fashion. I am two-thirds through listening and about to give up. Good for falling-asleep-listening though because of the lack of pace.

Any additional comments?

I have about 800 books downloaded from Audible, this being one of the worst which I will delete from my I Pod.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Head in the Sand

  • By: Damien Boyd
  • Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153

The discovery of a severed head in a golf course bunker triggers a frantic race to find a serial killer that brings the town of Burnham-on-Sea to a standstill.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Nick Dixon has HIS head in the sand

  • By Andromeda's Twin on 19-04-15

A COMPILATION OF POOR REVIEWS

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

Reviewed: 29-11-16

What disappointed you about Head in the Sand?

Childlike prose was extremely irritating. Awful narration for female parts ... so bad it was difficult to differentiate which female was speaking at any one time. Lots of repeated boring details as to what characters were wearing (before they spoke) and which make of car etc. I spent much of my time mentally rewriting each sentence in an effort to improve it!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

My reaction to the ending was "thank goodness it has ended" as I found the whole book unbelievably poor in all senses of the word.

Would you be willing to try another one of Napoleon Ryan’s performances?

No.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I found the plot interesting and believable but totally spoilt by poor quality writing and narration.

Any additional comments?

I have over 700 books by audible on my IPod ... I was disappointed this book was a total waste of a much valued credit!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nora Webster

  • By: Colm Tóibín
  • Narrated by: Fiona Shaw
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 212

The downloadable, digital audiobook edition of Colm Tóibín's new novel, read by Fiona Shaw. It is the 1960s and Nora Webster is living with her two young sons in a small town on the east coast of Ireland. The love of her life, Maurice, has just died.Nora must learn how to forge a new life for herself, how to give her sons a future as she tries to hold onto the past.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected pleasure

  • By Amazon Customer on 13-01-15

COLM TOIBIN

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

Reviewed: 18-04-15

I have read and downloaded all of these author's stories and up until now have loved them. However this particular story is so uneventful, so boring, so deadly dull I stopped listening to it about three-quarters of the way through. Perhaps something of interest did happen at the end, but I simply did not have the endurance to continue. Nora, the main character in the book, was so lacking in personality and proactivity I could find no interest at all in her or the story of her life. I found myself wondering if she had any kind of assertive personality when her husband was alive as she obviously hid behind the kudos of his professional persona but suspect she was as inert then as she was throughout her life! Unfortunately I suspect it will put a lot of listeners/readers off Colm Toibin which is a pity because his other works are exceptionally good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Risk of Darkness

  • Simon Serrailler 3
  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391

Following on from the child abduction in her previous novel The Pure in Heart, Susan Hill explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, a derangement that turns to obsession and threats, violence and terror.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another gripping instalment beautifully read

  • By Christine on 12-12-07

MIDDLE CLASS PRETENTIONS

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

Reviewed: 07-01-15

I am finding these Simon Serrailler books weak in plots with no skilled detection work taking place. I realise it is personal preference but I am constantly irritated by the middle-class lives, behaviour and pretensions. Do I really need to know the characters are drinking from Emma Bridgewater mugs, that avocado plays a big part in every salad, or listen to repeated descriptions of doctors and their children living in such idyllic conditions in the farmhouse? Personally I prefer the down to earth Ruth Rendell's Wexford and his colleagues, alongside P D James' Adam Dalgleish. Narration, as usual, excellent. Definitely a book to fall asleep whilst listening!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Crime at Black Dudley

  • An Albert Campion Mystery
  • By: Margery Allingham
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, George can see no way out. But Albert Campion can.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Campion's first appearance...

  • By FictionFan on 27-01-17

NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

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

Reviewed: 24-11-14

I wish I had read the Audible and Amazon reviews before wasting a credit on this abysmal download. The narration is dull, Albert Campion especially artificial (at times I couldn't decide if he were meant to be female), story-line lacking credibility ... buyer beware! from a seasoned listener and great long standing fan of Audible.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful